Julia, a Muppet With Autism, Joins 'Sesame Street' Cast

21 March, 2017, 09:30 | Author: Benny Bass
  • USA Dan Aykroyd Autor

The creative team behind the Sesame Street's newest edition were sensitive to the complex nature of the condition.

Sesame Street has often experimented with new fun ways of teaching children since its launch almost 50 years ago.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, announced in 2015 that Julia would join Elmo and the gang in books and an app as part of the "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" campaign. The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 families, more than a third of whom have children with autism. However, the friendships between the muppets also teach children how to treat each other. Elmo added, "We had to explain to Big Bird that Julia likes Big Bird".

"We want to reach all children in terms of giving them greater empathy and to talk about and increase awareness and understanding". Here's one more cool fact about Julia: The puppeteer who controls and voices Julia is the mother of a son with autism.

"Had my son's friends been exposed to his behaviours through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened", she said on CBS News. "They might not have been anxious when he cried".

The show has not, however, stayed stuck in the past: as the world changed, Sesame Street often changed with it - most often to reflect new ideas in child psychology, teaching, and parenting, and attempted to influence them too, according to The Atlantic. In recent years, its lengthy roster of characters has grown accordingly, from the introduction of "girly-girl" Abby Cadabby in 2006 to Segi, an African-American girl with natural hair, in 2010.

Because autism is a spectrum and not one specific set of traits or challenges, Julia's character required and will require extensive thought and consideration. "She is seen laughing a lot", Tyler Krueger, clinical director at Centerpiece Autism Services in Howard, said. Some of the other characters are initially confused by Julia's behavior, but they soon come to understand and embrace her differences.

Next month, viewers of "Sesame Street" will be introduced to Julia, a Muppet with autism.

Later on, Julia becomes so excited by a game of tag that she starts jumping up and down with excitement - which the other characters kindly turn into a game where they all jump around.



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