Sesame Street has a new resident in town and her name is Julia. She’s creating quite the buzz because she’s the first character with autism.
According to NYDN, Julia was first introduced as a character in Sesame’s books and immediately became a fan favorite, which prompted producers to write her in the show.
In Julia’s first scene Elmo and Abby Cadabby introduce her to Big Bird, but she doesn’t try to shake their hands at first. Elmo explains to Big Bird that because Julia has autism, “sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things.”
“It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism,” said “Sesame Street” writer Christine Ferraro. “There is an expression that goes, ‘If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
What’s interesting about this is that Stacey Gordon, the voice of Julia, has a son with autism.
“Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviors through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened. They might not have been worried when he cried. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that’s okay.”