Is Introducing a Muppet Character With Autism
The muppet, named Julia, was first announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday night. The theme for the project under which the latest character will be introduced is titled "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children".
On Sesame Street's website, she can be seen in short videos alongside some of the show's most iconic characters such as Elmo and Abby.
Big Bird met his new neighbor on 60 Minutes last night: Julia, a yellow puppet with orange hair who didn't greet him back.
"Sesame Street" hopes having Julia as a character will help children understand their fellow peers with autism in real life.
"Confused, Big Bird thinks, "Maybe she didn't like me".
When Julia is introduced on the show in April, she will meet Big Bird and ignore him.
Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior VP of USA social impact, said families of children with autism have asked the show to address the issue for years now. "It's just that Julia has autism", Elmo said.
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But there are some TV shows that depict autism and other learning disorders with much accuracy, either because the actors themselves live with them or because the aim of the show is to reach out to people with related conditions.
In one scene, she plays a game with Oscar, Abby and Grover in which they have been challenged to spot objects shaped like squares or circles or triangles. However, she revealed that she would personally "love" Julia to enjoy a starring role.
To get Julia right, the show met with with organizations, experts, and families within the autism community for several years.
Julia is played by puppeteer Stacey Gordon, who told the Associated Press her 13-year-old son also has autism. In her first episode, Julia will be seen bonding with a few children.
Julia's addition to the show has been meet with mostly positive results, with fans taking to Sesame Street's YouTube channel to give the show the thumbs up.
"She needs to take a break", the muppets' human friend Alan calmly explains. They often feel overwhelmed by sensory issues like noise and bright lights and that means they don't always react the same as other children.
As Christine Ferraro, writer for Sesame Street for 25 years, told CBS News" 60 Minutes, "It's tricky because autism is not one thing ... it is different for every single person who has autism.
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Mar 18 2017