'Sesame Street' Introducing First Muppet With Autism

20 March, 2017, 23:13 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Sesame Street

Today, 1 in 45 children have autism in the United States, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey said.

Having a character that exhibits common traits of autism on the longest running and best-loved children's television is an enormous step. "We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children", show writer Christine Ferrao told 60 Minutes.

"We're modelling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share", she mentioned.

Julia is at the heart of this effort. "She's acting this way because she's on the autism spectrum".

Designers use 2 sets of arms for Julia, who uses them to express emotions. "I said, 'If she's ever a puppet, I want to BE Julia!'".

One character, Ronnie Trash - who sings Johnny Cash numbers - gave a pro-recycling message in a rendition of "Ring of Fire", and there is also a blind muppet called Aristotle. His son, who has autism, watched the show as a child.

"Sesame Street" is produced by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, funding for which has been targeted by President Trump's recently released budget.

But the situation turns into a new game in which all the children jump around with Julia. Julia is nervous to meet the big yellow star. But she's making her TV debut surrounded by everybody's favorite neighborhood gang on HBO and PBS in April. He thinks she doesn't like him.

In Julia's first episode, she experiences a bit of glitch while meeting Big Bird. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that's okay.

"She needs to take a break", Big Bird's human friend Alan calmly explains. Soon, all is well and play resumes.

"It was a very easy way to show that with a very slight accommodation they can meet (Julia) where she is", Ferraro said. Each muppet has his or her own puppeteer who has helped develop that personality on screen. "There's so many people that have given her what she is". The long-running PBS franchise shifted to HBO for first-run airings early a year ago, with episodes repeating on PBS a few months later.

"More than 20 years ago, my attractive son received the diagnosis of autism, and my world changed instantly and profoundly", Kimmelman said in a statement.

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