‘Sesame Street’ Releases First Videos of Julia, a New Muppet With Autism
Sesame Street has provided decades’ worth of early education and inclusion, and now the series will help shed light on autism as well. The children’s classic has released its first official videos featuring Julia, a new four year-old Muppet with autism who will debut on the series in early April.
The character had been previously introduced in a 2015 digital storybook, though this week’s 60 Minutes brought the first official details of her puppet debut. Sesame Street’s website has since provided additional details about the character, as well as a number of introductory videos before her official April 10 arrival on the series.
The New York Times describes Julia as someone who “loves to sing and can memorize lyrics better than her young peers, [and] struggles with loud noises like sirens, which can cause her to become emotionally upset.” Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop VP of Outreach and Educational Practices, noted that the character was conceived as female to dispel myths of only males having autism. Julia’s puppet artist Stacey Gordon is also the mother of an autistic child.
Part of Sesame Workshop’s expansion of autism offerings will include videos, e-books and books released in both English and Spanish. You can see the character’s official Sesame Street debut on April 10.