Since airing, Sesame Street has always had characters to make everyone feel included. From the two-headed monsters to Count Von Count, no one is ever left out on Sesame Street. The show now welcomes Julia, a Muppet with Autism.
Instead of being treated like an outsider, which is what often happens to kids on the spectrum, Julia is a part of the crew.
For more than a year, Julia has existed in print and digital illustrations as the centerpiece of an initiative by the Sesame Workshop called "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children."
Julia has now been brought to life. She will make her TV debut on "Sesame Street" in the "Meet Julia" episode that airs April 10 on both PBS and HBO.
Developing Julia’s character and all the other components of this campaign required years of consultation with organizations, experts, and families within the autism community, according to Jeanette Betancourt.
Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact, made a statement saying, “In the U.S one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder," she says. "We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children.”