Meet Julia, a New 'Sesame Street' Muppet with Autism

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Meet Julia, a New 'Sesame Street' Muppet with Autism

Julia has been part of the online interactive Sesame Street family since previous year, and her popularity among viewers prompted show creators to bring the character to television.

For instance, when Big Bird is introduced to her, she ignores him which leads him to believe she doesn't like him, but the other muppets reassure a confused Big Bird that: "She does things just a little differently, in a Julia sort of way".

Diagnoses of autism have risen steadily in recent years to the rate of one in every 68 U.S. children, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Long-running children's television show "Sesame Street" is welcoming a new kid to the block - a Muppet with autism called Julia. We're modeling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: "finding things that all children share", she said.

This isn't the first time the Sesame Street gang has grappled with issues of diversity and worked to destigmatize other heavy topics.

And now they have taken it one step further, introducing their first autistic character, Julia.

Sesame Street has been on the air since 1969 and features a host of famous characters including Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Elmo and Cookie Monster.

The Muppet made her debut in storybooks and on a website from Sesame Workshop, which created an initiative in 2015 to educate kids and parents about autism.

Later in the episode - according to a clip seen by the Associated Press - Julia becomes distressed when a siren goes off.

Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, was involved in the committee of people in the autism community who helped Sesame Workshop think through the concept. Her name is Julia. They are all different.

"A lot more changes need to happen, and maybe they will", said Perry.

A new Muppet will soon join the people in Sesame Street's neighborhood.

We love the idea of Julia, and can't wait to see her on the big screen!

The creators of Sesame Street say they hope will help kids better understand those who have autism. He couldn't make heads or tails of her expressions, and she seemed nervous to meet him. Stacey Gordon, the mother of a son with autism, will be the puppeteer for Julia.

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