Sesame Street in April will introduce the newest Muppet to the cast “ Julia”. We first learned of Julia last year when they announced the initiative “See Amazing in all children”. The book “We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3!” by Leslie Kimmelman was just the beginning of a project focused on autism.
The created Julia hoping to spread the awareness of autism and help others to be more accepting of kids that have it.
According to their website “Introducing Julia, a Muppet on the Autism Spectrum
Julia is a 4-year-old red-headed muppet with autism. She’s a good friend of Elmo but is just getting to know the other residents of Sesame Street. It takes some time for other Sesame Street friends to understand what Julia is like, and to know how to interact with her.
Most of the time, they figure out a way to engage with her in a positive way.
While Julia represents all children on the spectrum, the creators of “Amazing” are clear that no individual person can possibly embody all manifestations of such a complex disorder. As a result, when characters talk about Julia’s autism they say “this is what autism is like for Julia.” Here are some of Julia’s personal characteristics:
She can speak but is often slow to respond. Her voice is flat, she sometimes echoes others’ words, and she may use single words rather than full sentences.
She enjoys playing with others sometimes, but may or may not respond to social overtures. This makes some members of the Sesame Street community think “Julia doesn’t like me,” but Elmo explains that Julia might respond when she’s ready.
Julia loves to sing and knows all the words to many songs. She may or may not, however, choose to sing when everyone else is singing.
Julia likes painting, drawing, and picking flowers. She’s quite a good artist.
Julia has a favorite toy that she always carries around. Sometimes she is focused on her toy and finds it hard to respond to others.
She has sensory issues that can make it difficult to be around loud music and other noises. When Allen is using his blender, she gets quite upset.”
You can find more information about Julia and resources to help spread understanding, on their website Autism.sesamestreet.org