Sesame Street Introduces Muppet With Autism

Sesame Street Introduces Muppet With Autism
Popular children's television show, Sesame Street is adding a new character to its team - a muppet called Julia, who has autism.

Juila, a four-year-old with bright orange hair, a pink dress and a favourite toy rabbit called Fluffster, will be introduced on 10 April in an episode called "Meet Julia." Though, she has already appeared in Sesame Street cartoons and books, this will mark her first appearance on the famous children's show.

According to The Guardian,  Sherrie Westin, EVP of global social impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind Sesame Street said,

“We wanted to address autism in general because of the growing number of children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.”

She added,

“We felt that creating a character who was autistic would allow children to identify her but equally important, it would allow us to model for all children the differences and commonalities of a child with autism.

“It was an opportunity to help explain autism and to help increase awareness and understanding.”

One in 68 American children is currently diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase of some 119 percent since 2000.

Autism is a developmental disorder present from early childhood, in which, children may have difficulty communicating and forming relationships witgh other people.

The puppeteer who will play the role of Julia, Stacey Gordon and Christine Ferraro who wrote her part, both have family members who are on the autism spectrum.

On Monday, Sesame Street released a number of video clips featuring Julia. Julia will be seen interacting with favourite characters like Big Bird and Elmo