Autistic Character Joining Elmo and Friends on Sesame Street

posted: 10/22/15
by: Courtney Reimer

Soon, alongside Elmo, Abby, Zoey, Big Bird and Cookie Monster, Sesame Street fans will see Julia, a pre-school-age girl who has autism. The new character is part of their campaign to raise awareness for the condition, Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children (they even have a whole online hub of resources dedicated to the initiative: autism.sesamestreet.org).

In the online storybook that introduces Julia, Elmo explains to Abby that Julia "does things a little differently," when Abby is confused by Julia not greeting Abby.

The goal of the project, according to Sesame Workshop's website, is to help foster better understanding for the condition in hopes of reducing the overwhelmingly prevalent bullying of autistic children (the site explains that kids with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than their non-autistic peers).

"Our goal is to bring forth what all children share in common, not their differences," Dr. Jeannette Betancourt, who helped spearhead the project with Sesame, told People.com. "Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group."

Images courtesy Sesame Workshop