A character with autism has been introduced on to Sesame Street
Sesame Street, one of the most popular and influential children’s programmes of the last 50 years, will introduce Julia, a character with autism, onto the show next month.
According to the BBC, Julia, a little girl with red hair and a toy rabbit, will appear in Sesame Street episodes on HBO and PBS in the US from next month onwards.
Julia already features in a series of YouTube videos that seek to explain that “we’re all a little different, but still share the same joy of play and friendship”.
Clip via Sesame Street
The introduction of Julia is the latest challenge being undertaken by the nonprofit children’s television workshop that created the show, Sesame Workshop, in their attempt to educate young children.
CBS’ 60 minutes got an insight into a recent episode of the Sesame Street in which Julia was being introduced to some of the other characters.
While Julia did not initially respond to Big Bird’s greeting and thought that she might not like him, it was explained to Big Bird by Elmo that she does like him and that “sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things”.
Commenting on introducing a character with autism, Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro said: “It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism. There is an expression that goes, ‘If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism’.”
Asked later if she’d like Julia to become a major character in the show, Ferraro replied: “I would, I would love her to be. I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism. I would like her to be just Julia.”