emfizz.com March 23, 2017

Meet 'Sesame Street's' First Muppet With Autism Named Julia

21 March 2017, 09:34 | Anna Nguyen

On her “Sesame Street” episode Julia becomes overwhelmed when she hears sirens CBS News

On her “Sesame Street” episode Julia becomes overwhelmed when she hears sirens               CBS News

For the first time in ten years, "Sesame Street" introduced a new Muppet on the air.

In her first episode, Elmo will explain that Julia does things a little differently than her neighbors, explaining to Big Bird, who felt Julia didn't like him because she didn't shake his hand.

One in 68 children in the US has autism, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, up 30% from 2012 estimates. At that point, Julia was a character in children's books, a mobile app, and online stories and videos produced to help kids better understand how to empathetically interact with people who have autism.

"We're modelling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective", a Sesame Street executive told Newser.

Julia will make her debut April 10 on PBS Kids and HBO.

Viewers can expect Julia to display some common characteristics of autism during her first appearance as the gang learn about her differences and hidden talents.

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. "They would have known that he plays in a different way and that's OK".

Christine Ferraro has been a writer on Sesame Street for two years.

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"I think it's great to have representation from all different types of kids and to demonstrate inclusion", Kristina Shelton, a mom in Green Bay, said.

"A programme like "Sesame Street" that introduces these issues early to a whole generation could help significantly increase understanding, tolerance and empathy". But rather than reject her Julia, change their game in order to make her fell included. She also has autism.

"That's just Julia being Julia", Abby said.

"So it was a very easy way to show that with a very slight accommodation, they can meet her where she is", Ferraro said.

"There are moments in the show where Julia gets overwhelmed by a loud sound and gets bumped when she's not expecting it and she has a panic attack and covers her ears and cries".

Julia's puppeteer, Ms Stacey Gordon, happens to be the mother of an autistic son.

"The "Meet Julia" episode is something that I wish my son's friends had been able to see when they were small", Gordon told The Associated Press.

"Topics I would hope to see explored are problems with communication or problems with socialization that kids with autism sometimes have", Beeson said.

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