April 21, 2017
On Monday, April 10th, Sesame Street formerly introduced it’s newest muppet, Julia. Julia isn’t just a yellow muppet with orange hair, but rather, she is unique in that she has autism. Sesame Street first announced the arrival of Julia in 2015, as she appeared in an online storybook titled We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3!.
In the episode, the red muppet explained to the others that Julia has autism, so she does things a little differently. At one point, Big Bird asks what autism is, and the grown-up character Alan explains that she may not always respond and may repeat what people say to her.
Julia portrays many signs of autism such as sound sensitivity. At one point a siren goes off during the episode, and while the other characters don’t mind, Julia gets upset and has to go to her quiet place with her toy bunny. She often flaps her arms like many children on the autism spectrum do.
Rather than forcing her to “fit in”, the other muppets accept her and encourage her to do things her own way. This addition was a big move for Sesame Street in spreading autism awareness and acceptance.