Sesame Street: Meet Autistic Julia

A happy go lucky bright eyed little girl, Julia brings an opportunity to teach young children about autism.

Julia
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Sesame Street: Meet Autistic Julia

Julia

Julia

Google Common License

Julia

Google Common License

Google Common License

Julia

Kaitlyn Strada, Editor-in-Chief

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A very touching addition has been added to the Sesame Street family. In a new program added to the show in purpose to raise awareness and bring knowledge about childhood autism, Julia has been born.

This Wednesday, the producers launched, “Sesame Street and Autism: See All in Amazing Children” and introduced Julia, a happy go lucky little girl who has autism. Through the program, Julia helps viewers interact and gain resources to live with people with autism. There are interactive videos, cards, and tips to help children understand autistic children’s needs.

In a recent episode, Elmo explains to a friend on the playground, Abby, why Julia acts differently than them. He explains that Julia doesn’t understand patience as well and may be repetitive, but at the end of the day is just like everyone else. He emphasizes that even if Julia doesn’t engage in conversation, doesn’t mean she doesn’t care.

Questions have been raised about the new addition, in particular: why is the autistic character a female? The executive vice president of Sesame Street, Sherrie Westin, answers this question in The News & Observer. “We made sure she was a girl namely because autism is seen so much more often in boys,” she said. “We wanted to make it clear that girls can be on the spectrum, too. We’re trying to eliminate misconceptions, and a lot of people think that only boys have autism.”

The Madison Dodger Online staff agrees with and appreciates Sesame Street’s decision to welcome an autistic puppet to the show. Each member of our staff directly knows someone with autism, and all recognize that it is very important to inform young children about autism since autism affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S.