Sesame Street to Introduce Julia, a Muppet with Autism
Mar 21 2017
"In the US, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder", Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of US Social Impact, told the Associated Press. Speaking to CBS, Christine Ferraro, who has been writing storylines for the show since the 90s, said: "It's tricky because autism is not one thing; it is different for every single person who has autism". The episode also addresses her sensitivity to loud sounds, which is common among children on the spectrum and can lead to meltdowns, which are sometimes confusing for their peers. The relationship between Julia and the other members of the show will focus on communication and understanding.
The popular children's TV show "Sesame Street" will highlight the issues faced by children with Austism in the show's latest season.
"In the US, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder", said Betancourt.
"That's just Julia being Julia", Abby Cadabby explains.
The rest of Stahl's segment gives the basic origin story for "Sesame Street" and includes an interview with founder Joan Ganz Cooney, who first researched the idea in the 1960s at the request of the Carnegie Corporation.
Badesch said that it was obvious the committee "really wanted to get it right - and they got it right", with Julia's character. When she meets Big Bird, she ignores him.
"I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism".
She said creating the character was challenging because autism is different in every person who has it. She also loves to play with her favorite stuffed animal.
Ferraro says she would like Julia to become a major character on "Sesame Street". Rather than make fun of her or be scared by her unusual reaction, the kids make it part of the game. "Her eyes had to be a certain way because she has to have an intense look, but she has to look friendly", Krewson told Stahl.
He thinks she doesn't like him but Abby says: "She does things just a little differently, in a Julia sort of way". Sesame Street, which has been on air since 1969, has introduced a new Muppet with autism that will help children learn about acceptance.