A new resident is moving to “#Sesame Street” as another character joins its iconic and impressive roster of Muppets. The purpose of the show is to teach valuable lessons to children whilst also entertaining them, and in keeping with that and its pretty core message of “it’s okay to be different,” the makers of the show are introducing the first ever Muppet with #Autism.
Her name is Julia
The new character’s name is Julia and she was revealed on an episode of “60 Minutes,” in a featured “Sesame Street” clip in which Julia joins the classic neighbourhood. Her joining “Sesame Street” is a momentous and ground-breaking occasion, and a triumph for today’s socially conscious, PC, woke era (an era that’s kind of contradicted by its concurrent era, that of post-truth, which was brought on by the election of a certain President by the society that’s supposed to be woke), however, it’s not the first time the character has made an appearance in the media.
Julia was first introduced in late 2015, in a Digital Storybook released online entitled “Sesame Street and Autism: See the amazing in all children.” What a touching title, by the way. But this is the first time she’ll appear on #Television screens, with her run on the show set to begin in April, when Elmo and Abby Cadabby will introduce her to Big Bird, who will see the amazing in her because he’s a sweetheart.
The puppeteer playing Julia has a child with autism
Stacey Gordon, the puppeteer who will be portraying Julia on “Sesame Street,” gave an interview in the same “60 Minutes,” where she revealed that she herself is “the parent of a child with autism,” which is great news because it means it will be represented right. Gordon acknowledges that she wishes an autistic character was introduced sooner, especially back when her own child was at the young “Sesame Street”-viewing age, but is happy it’s finally happening nonetheless.
“Sesame Street” writer Christine Ferraro spoke of the challenges of bringing an autistic character to the screen: “It’s tricky...because (autism) is different for every single person who has (it).” The team behind the show did excellent research, working alongside autism organisations, teachers, and families affected by it in order to develop their characterisation of Julia, and how to explain autism to pre-school age children.