Culture&Arts

Sesame Street to introduce new character with autism

Sesame Street to introduce new character with autism

While the character has been part of the show's franchise, in the form of books and digital shorts, since past year, Julia will debut on Sesame Street April 10, according to NPR.

Betancourt tells A.P. that while Julia represents the full range of children on the spectrum, she is unique and isn't meant to epitomize each of them specifically.

A yellow Muppet with green eyes and bright copper hair, Julia is four years old and has autism. Her favorite activities are picking flowers and painting. And in many ways, Julia is just like all the other little Muppets. Gordon knows first-hand what it's like living in Julia's world, because her own son has autism. While they are playing, Julia often mimics Abby's words.

In her debut episode, Julia will demonstrate some common characteristics. She needs time to process information and is sometimes bothered by intense sensory stimuli, specifically hot drinks and loud noises.

"That's just Julia being Julia", Abby said. Of course, not every child with autism exhibits the same behaviors, or has the same degree of difficulty socially. She was the show's first lead female muppet.

"Sesame Street" has welcomed its first character with autism.

Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of United States social impact, said: "We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children". The writers hope that the children watching the show will address the new character as "Julia" and not "Julia with autism". They are all different.

They have introduced a new character who will teach kids about an important topic: Autism.

A 2012 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 68 American children has autism.

Julia will appear on TV screens across the country beginning April 10, but is already getting an overwhelmingly positive response. The materials appear on a dedicated site.

She also described how Julia was there to teach children that when they "encounter people with disabilities in their real life, it's familiar".

"And you'll love this". Westin said it's the next logical step. Rather than thinking this odd, her new friends on Sesame Street make it a game. "Having Julia on the show and seeing all of the characters treat her with compassion. and like her", Gordon told "60 Minutes". She's the first Muppet with autism. And research shows autism presents differently in girls, so some might go undiagnosed.

The society was one of 14 such autism groups consulted by Sesame Workshop.

"He's checking off all those nevers that people said he could never do", said his dad.

"She's one of the kids, she's one of the gang", Jochum said.

And in this video, she and Elmo play peek-a-boo, and also educate kids on how to play side by side.

A team of researchers from Georgetown University is studying how effective the program has proven for families who have experienced Sesame's autism materials.

Do you or a loved one have a child with autism?

The episode is expected to air via the ABC in Australia within the year.


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