Sesame Street Workshop has added a new, autistic muppet named Julia to the gang. Julia’s addition is part of a program launched Wednesday morning called “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children,” that features routine cards, videos, and further resources for family and friends of an autistic child.
The website also features a story called We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3, in which Elmo introduces Abby to Julia and explains why she behaves differently.
“Elmo’s daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism,” Elmo says in the story. “So she does things a little differently. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times.”
“Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities,” reads the program’s website. “At the same time, the project fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids. “
“Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied,” said the workshop’s senior vice president of U.S. social impact Dr. Jeanette Betancourt in an interview with People. “And with one in 68 children having autism, that’s a lot of bullying. Our goal is to bring forth what all children share in common, not their differences. Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group.”
Learn more about the program here.
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