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"Sesame Street" takes a step forward

posted Oct 29, 2015, 10:01 AM by Jessica Mies

If you were like me, you grew up watching “Sesame Street” on PBS. It was one of my favorite shows as a child. I even dressed up as Oscar the Grouch a couple years ago for Halloween. The show has a variety of other characters including Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Count von Count, Grover, Bert and Ernie, and many others. However, on Oct. 21, a special character was introduced.

The character’s name is Julia, and she has autism. Julia will be a part of a new initiative by the Sesame Workshop called,  “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.” The program is designed to raise awareness about children with autism.

Julia is first featured in a digital storybook. The story is about Elmo and Julia’s friendship and introducing Julia to Abby Cadabby. Elmo teaches Abby that Julia does things a little differently than they do.

I think this a great thing for them to do. According to the CDC, about one in 68 kids will be identified with autism spectrum disorder. Julia can help show kids and parents that children with autism are just the same us as, except they think and do things a little differently than us. Julia can also help teach children how to interact with their autistic peers.

One thing I wish “Sesame Street” will do one day is bring Julia to the TV show. This will introduce her character to an even wider audience range. I hope that with the help of Julia and “Sesame Street,” we can end the stigma against autism.

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