Meet Julia, Sesame Street's Newest Neighbor

Julia Sesame Street's new muppet.
   
 

  Enlarge  Caption

Julia Sesame Street's new muppet. Enlarge Caption

Ferraro said in Julia's debut episode she will demonstrate common characteristics of children with autism and the characters in the show will try to create a game which makes Julia feel comfortable enough to join in.

"For years, families of children with autism have asked us to address the issue", Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of USA social impact at the nonprofit Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. "There is an expression that goes, "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism". However, the friendships between the muppets also teach children how to treat each other.

Could Julia help children understand autism?

This is part of a multifaceted initiative by Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind the programme, called "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children". She is the show's first puppet with autism, which highlights the effort to embrace and educate kids on the developmental disorder that affects thousands of children and adults. "It's just that Julia has autism", Elmo said. Having Julia on the show and seeing all of the characters treat her with compassion. and like her. Big Bird told Stahl he had initially been perturbed by Julia's lack of response.

On Sesame Street's website, she can be seen in short videos alongside some of the show's most iconic characters such as Elmo and Abby.

Badesch said that it was obvious the committee "really wanted to get it right - and they got it right", with Julia's character.

Julia is played by puppeteer Stacey Gordon, who told the Associated Press her 13-year-old son also has autism.

"And then it turns into a game where they're all jumping like her. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that's okay", she added.

In her first screen appearance, Julia is at first misunderstood by Big Bird, who thinks Julia ignores him on objective.

The Sesame Street writing team worked with autism organizations, educators, and families to help develop Julia, and how to explain autism to children. "We hope that Julia, the Sesame Street character, will have a similar effect and inspire other writers and film-makers to reflect the diversity of the autism spectrum in their work". Julia is the first character in the series to have autism and sees set to arrive on our screens in April.

Julia makes her TV debut in the USA on April 10th on HBO and PBS. The character of Julia is modelled on a young preschool girl who owing to her condition does things that are different, the publication reported.

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