Sesame Street introduces autistic character named Julia

21 March, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • Big Bird and other Sesame Street puppet charactors will be joined by a new muppet named Julia who has autismMore

In 2015, we introduced you to Sesame Street's newest digital character, Julia - a muppet who is meant to represent an autistic child. The theme for the project under which the latest character will be introduced is titled "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children".

In her first appearance, Big Bird puts out his wing to introduce himself and shake hands, but Julia ignores him.

Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the founders of the Children's Television Workshop which developed "Sesame Street", said it has also not been afraid to deal with real life issues including the death of a beloved character, Mr. Hooper in 1983. We're modeling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: "finding things that all children share". Speaking with 60 Minutes, Christine Ferraro, a writer for Sesame Street, says the team worked closely with autism organizations to find the best way to portray Julia.

'It's tricky because Autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person has autism. "There is an expression that goes, "If you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism", Ferraro added.

Those behind the episode hope that the scenes will help other children to understand and befriend autistic classmates, reducing their isolation in social situations.

Sesame Street, which has been on the air since 1969, and is broadcast in 20 countries, has long used its platform to promote positive messages. "I would like her to be just Julia".

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"I thought that maybe she didn't like me", Big Bird told Stahl.

Julia is set to make her formal debut in the next season of Sesame Street, specifically in the episode titled Meet Julia, which will air on April 10, 2017 on PBS and HBO.

Betancourt, in a press release, said families affected by autism have appealed to "Sesame Street" for years to address the condition.

In an introductory segment, Julia is having fun with Abby and Elmo when Big Bird walks up. "They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that's OK". After Julia starts excitedly jumping up and down on the spot, Abby then adapts this into their game.

"She's one of the kids, she's one of the gang", said Rose Jochum, director of internal initiatives at the Autism Society of America, which helped Sesame Street develop the new muppet, on NPR.

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