Sesame Street Introduces a New Character to Teach Kids About Autism

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photo: Zach Hyman/Sesame Street Workshop

A new puppet is moving to America’s most famous street, and her introduction is a first for the series. Julia, a four-year old puppet is unique on Sesame Street because she has autism. Check out the video below for a sneak peek.

Sesame Street has long been the go-to place for young kids to learn about everything from counting and letters to friendship and bullying. With the debut of Julia, the show’s preschool audience will get a look at what it means to grow up with autism and how to relate. Long-time Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro told 60 Minutes in an interview this past weekend that Julia will help expose kids to autistic traits. “It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism.” The puppeteer playing Julia, Stacey Gordon, brings her own unique perspective to the part as the real-life mom of a child with autism.

Julia is not entirely new to the Sesame Street universe, having been introduced in a digital book in 2015, but her first appearance on the television show itself will be April 10th. A series of short videos featuring Julia are already available to watch on YouTube while you wait.

What do you think of Sesame Street’s newest neighbor? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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