Published: Sat, April 01, 2017
Health Care | By Kelly Miles

Muppet with autism to be introduced


And now the children's TV show Sesame Street is introducing a new muppet character with a simpler name, and a tougher brief. Julia will make her television debut on April 10 in an episode airing simultaneously on HBO and PBS and will appear in one other episode this season.

Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, the senior vice president of U.S. social impact, said in an interview with PEOPLE that "Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied, and with one in 68 children having autism, that's a lot of bullying".

"It's tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism", writer Christine Ferraro told "60 Minutes".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. Gordon, however, said the parallels between her son and Julia are not exactly the same.

Rachel Rosner, the director of education and support services at Rochester-based Autism Up, said introducing a character with autism is a huge step forward for the show - and for raising awareness.

In Julia's very first scene, Big Bird is confused when she doesn't look up from painting to greet him, opening the door for the characters to explain children with autism may exhibit different behaviors than others.

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Julia, who loves to sing and can memorise lyrics better than her young peers, struggles with loud noises like sirens, which can cause her to become emotionally upset.

Julia isn't the first character on TV to highlight people on the spectrum.

Julia's puppeteer Stacey Gordon knows this herself, as her son has autism.

The muppets and children but received Julia with open arms. "They might not have been anxious when he cried". "There is an expression that goes, 'If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism'".

Amy Cooper is the type of journalist that when asked "What do you bring to the table", she replies "I am the table".

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