Sesame Street is welcoming a new character in April—a muppet named Julia, who has Autism.
The new character has been at the heart of an Autism campaign Sesame Street has driven for a while, in an effort to promote a greater understanding of the disability.
Check it out (via WaPo):
“In the U.S., one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder,” she says. “We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children. We’re modeling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share.”
Julia is at the heart of this effort. But while she represents the full range of children on the spectrum, she isn’t meant to typify each one of them: “Just as we look at all children as being unique, we should do the same thing when we’re looking at children with autism,” Betancourt says.
It was with keen interest that Stacey Gordon first learned of Julia more than a year ago. “I said, ‘If she’s ever a puppet, I want to BE Julia!’”
The new episode in which Julia makes her official debut airs on April 10.