Medicine

Sesame Street Debuts First Muppet With Autism

"Bringing Julia to life as a Sesame Street Muppet is the centerpiece of all of our new materials to support families of children with autism", said Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop's exec VP of global impact and philanthropy.

Ferraro added: "I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism".

She first appeared on Sesame Street's Online Digital Storybook Series back in 2015.

Julia, a little girl with orange hair and a toy rabbit, will make her debut on HBO and PBS in April.

Her name is Julia, and she has autism.

CBS 58 was joined in the studio this afternoon by Emily Levine, the Executive Director at the Autism Society.

"It's tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism", writer Christine Ferraro told "60 Minutes". "We all are better off when everyone is included in our communities, and that includes the characters on Sesame Street, especially a new Muppet on the spectrum".

Other people who meet the Vicks may not know what to expect either but that could start to change, in part, due to a popular kids TV show.

The Arc of Florida says "Sesame Street" has had a number of diverse characters in its history, but this is the first time it's introduced one on the autism spectrum.

"Had my son's friends been exposed to his behaviours through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened", she told 60 Minutes. When Julia doesn't respond to Big Bird's initial friendliness, Abby, another Muppet, explains to Big Bird that Julia has autism. She notes that removing that sense of isolation was a central motivation in creating Julia.

The muppets and children but received Julia with open arms.

But maybe Julia said it best when Stahl asked if she was enjoying her new friends.



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