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Main » Twitter hails courageous and progressive Sesame Street for new autistic Muppet Julia

Twitter hails courageous and progressive Sesame Street for new autistic Muppet Julia

20 March 2017

Gordon knows first-hand what it's like living in Julia's world, because her own son has autism.

Sesame Street has announced they'll soon be introducing a brand new character to the infamous street: her name is Julia - she is the first Muppet to have autism.

"And she has autism", the website adds.

"Sesame Street" writer Christine Ferraro hopes Julia, who will appear in two episodes in the current season, will be a recurring character and says, "I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on "Sesame Street" who has autism".

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Kids pick up a lot from the TV shows they watch.

Having a character that exhibits common traits of autism on the longest running and best-loved children's television is an enormous step.

As for other characters, the show conducted extensive research, including consultations with educators and child psychologists, and in this case autism organizations, to understand how best to normalize autism for non-autistic children. 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.

Julia is at the heart of this effort.

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The puppeteer who plays Julia, Stacey Gordon, also happens to have a son with autism.

Instead of being treated as an outsider, the reoccurring issue seen in children with autism as they attempt to go about life in school and society, Julia is considered a part of the gang. "I said, 'If she's ever a puppet, I want to BE Julia!'". The team who created Julia spent years talking to families who had children with autism in order to make the depiction as authentic as possible.

"And then it turns into a game where they're all jumping like her". The show runners noted that Julia will meet Big Bird and be hesitant to shake the character's hand. She wishes that Julia's character would make people more aware and also be a source of information for the future generations. He thinks she doesn't like him.

"Hi, Julia", Stahl said to the red-headed Muppet, who remained quiet - the same reaction she'll have when meeting Big Bird in her upcoming debut episode.

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"Maybe she doesn't like me", Big Bird says.

Twitter hails courageous and progressive Sesame Street for new autistic Muppet Julia