The key to understanding autism is really to expand the public's knowledge and engagement with autistic people. Whether it's in the media, at school, or in the workplace, knowing someone with autism helps bring insight into what their day-to-day life is like, and reduces the stigma towards those with developmental disabilities.
That's why we're happy to announce that Sesame Street is helping spread awareness and advocate for autistic people with its new character, Julia.
Julia is a new muppet with autism that will make her first debut in Sesame's Street digital storybook titled, "We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3." Julia's character and story is born from a collaboration among Sesame Street, and organizations Autism Speaks and Autism Self Advocacy. Julia's character brings to the table what autism looks like for a child: how she is similar to all children, but might play different or need particular accommodations, how she acts, how she speaks, and how she has fun. By having her interact with the Sesame Street cast, more young children will be exposed to Julia, and will better understand their own peers with autism.
The producers of Sesame Street are still waiting to hear back from the autism community about introducing Julia to the main show, but for now, she's playing with Elmo and Abby online in the storybook.
Having a character like Julia on a well known show like Sesame Street can really help everyone understand autism better. Not only will it help children learn about this developmental disability, but it can also help change the public landscape of how we treat and respect those with autism. To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health or Education section of our blog.
Image courtesy of Tinseltown/Shutterstock
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