A Muppet with autism to be welcomed soon on 'Sesame Street'

In her first episode, Elmo will explain that Julia does things a little differently than her neighbors, explaining to Big Bird, who felt Julia didn't like him because she didn't shake his hand.

The Sesame Street campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with Autism as well as introduce a better understanding of the condition.

Julia, a four-year-old with bright orange hair, a pink dress and a favorite toy rabbit called Fluffster, will make her debut on 10 April in an episode called "Meet Julia".

"There is an expression that goes, "If you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism". Children with autism will also have a Muppet they can identify with.

Julia is a first in the almost 50-year history of the show, which has been found to have a profound educational impact on children.

In Michigan, Allen says the numbers are hard to translate but, about one in 68 people are affected by autism. Her son has a form of autism. 'I would like her to be just Julia'.

The new Muppet was shown off on Sunday on 60 Minutes Reporter Leslie Stahl was introduced to Julia on set by one of the most popular Muppets, Elmo.

"It's important for kids without autism to see what autism can look like", she told 60 Minutes.

Julia was previously included in Sesame's books and digital offerings, and her character has been in development for about three years. "I wished that it had come out years before, when my own child was at the Sesame Street age", she told 60 Minutes. "I thought that maybe she didn't like me", Big Bird said after revealing that Julia initially ignored him.

The story explains how the Julia character was meticulously researched and emerged from "Sesame Street" producer Sesame Workshop's "social impact initiatives", which are bonus web videos featuring stories about children of divorce or children of incarcerated parents, for example. Julia also exhibits other traits, including moving her arms around when she is upset and finding it hard to cope with too much noise.

When Big Bird makes the gesture, Julia does not respond, and it becomes a teaching moment for characters on the show. Julia is a little different from the other characters on the show. And perhaps the puppeteer with the closest connection to his or her muppet is Stacey Gordon, who plays the role of Julia.

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