Sesame’s Street New Muppet

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Hannah Heben

Everyone’s favorite childhood show, Sesame Street, proves it’s sense of originality once again. Starting in April, a new girl named Julia will be joining the show. Like a typical character she has orange hair and yellow skin. Unlike any other character on the show, she was born with Autism. This is something that is very common in real life but not so common in children’s television or in the media in general.

Julia started of as a part of the Sesame Street Story Books and was so well liked they decided to make her a full-time character on the show. She made her first debut to the public during a 60 minute segment this past Sunday. CNN quoted one of the shows writers, Christine Ferraro: “I think the big discussion right at the start was, ‘How do we do this? How do we talk about autism?'”

This is not the first time in the past almost fifty years of the show that Sesame Street chose to face the real word instead of ignoring it. In 1983 they faced the loss of one of their beloved characters, Mr. Hooper. Instead of concealing it to avoid controversy they decided to address it on the show. On their new episodes they will deal with what autism actually looks like and how it affects a young child. Big Bird was asked about Julia on the 60 minute special: “I thought that maybe she didn’t like me,” he said. Elmo then explained to him that she does like him but since she has autism it takes her a little longer to do most things.