The Sesame Street team wanted to make sure that the character was portrayed well, and they worked closely with autism organizations when creating Julia.
Check out our guide to Autism here.
As David Folkenflik reports for NPR, Julia will make her first television appearance on April 10, becoming the first new Muppet to join the Sesame Street cast in a decade. Julia sometimes takes a while to answer questions, and she tends to repeat what her friends say, because she has autism. But the other Muppets tell him: "She does things just a little differently". Julia could be a possible game-changer, and hopefully, her introduction into the popular educational show signals a trend of representation and inclusion.
"Basically, in terms of vulnerable families, we're looking at families who may have particular stressors in their lives that are impacting their young children", Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for USA social impact at parent company Sesame Workshop, explained.
Next month, viewers of "Sesame Street" will be introduced to Julia, a Muppet with autism.
"I think it really shows that our community has embraced kids with differences", Gardner said.
In the episode, called "Meet Julia" the character of Alan carefully answers questions about Julia's autism disorder.
Julia's message is special for one little MA girl, also named Julia. According to the BBC, girls with autism are under-diagnosed, since their symptoms often appear in different ways than they do with boys. "How do we talk about autism?,'" one of the show's writers, Christine Ferraro, told "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.
The New York Times describes Julia as someone who "loves to sing and can memorize lyrics better than her young peers, [and] struggles with loud noises like sirens, which can cause her to become emotionally upset".
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Her name is Julia , and it is hoped she will help the show's young viewers better understand children on the autism spectrum. I trust them in taking steps to ensure a nuanced portrayal of Julia , and can only see this as a big positive going forward.
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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.
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