Sesame Street to debut its first autistic character
New character part of initiative to remove stigma from autism
There's a newcomer on the Sesame Street block: a preschooler with autism named Julia.
The Sesame Workshop said Wednesday that the character is being introduced as part of an initiative to take the stigma out of autism. The initiative also is aimed at helping those who deal with the developmental disorder.
Julia will be included in digital and printed story books featuring Sesame Workshop characters, including Elmo and Abby. She will be portrayed as a girl who "does things a little differently" when playing with her Muppet friends, the workshop said.
In one story already online, entitled We're Amazing 1,2,3!, Elmo says: "Elmo's daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times."
The new initiative, called "See Amazing in All Children," will provide educational resources about autism to teachers and others. It also will offer tools for handling everyday activities to families touched by it.