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Sesame Street's newest resident is a four-year-old Muppet with autism

21 March 2017, 10:40 | Anna Nguyen

Sesame Street's newest resident is a four-year-old Muppet with autism

Sesame Street’ to welcome muppet with autism

A brand new character called Julia is being welcomed onto the famous puppet show Sesame Street.

Check out our guide to Autism here. "Having Julia on the show and seeing all of the characters treat her with compassion. and like her", Gordon told "60 Minutes". However, Elmo - also speaking to Leslie Stahl in the same interview - said that he and Abby subsequently explained to Big Bird that Julia has autism.

Julia is four years old, shy, misses social cues from time to time, and tends to repeat what she has just heard from others. Julia is a little different from the other characters on the show. "How do we talk about autism?'" Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro told the CBS News show 60 Minutes.

She hopes Julia will help other kids to understand that people with autism sometimes act and play differently.

She's "Sesame Street's" newest neighbor and her autism diagnosis affects her communication and social skills and causes some abnormal behavioral interests.

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Since its launch in 1969, "Sesame Street" has tackled issues such as divorce, disability, race and death alongside its role in teaching very young children to read, count and learn colors.

According to Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of United States social impact, "In the U.S., one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder". I can personally attest to having experience with autism in my extended family and I can nearly guarantee that everyone reading this has had the same in one way, shape, or form in theirs.

"The character will be able to educate not just parents about kids, but also kids about kids", he said. The show will then highlight how this diversity of muppets, despite their differences, can play together in harmony.

The way around it was describing autism not as a blanket condition, but through the lens of what it means for Julia individually. "She is seen laughing a lot", Tyler Krueger, clinical director at Centerpiece Autism Services in Howard, said. Since it is a spectrum disorder, Goring says, no two cases of autism look exactly the same. "'We're so lucky Julia's on our team because she's really good at identifying shapes!' So really finding the positives and working on the strengths of all children with autism", said Melanie Carfolo, with the Rich Center for Autism.

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