‘Sesame Street’ Reveals Autistic Character, Initiatives

The new character will premiere globally, April 10, with a new episode, titled “Meet Julia.”

Sesame Workshop has unveiled a new phase of its autism initiative, “Sesame Street” and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, with a new character, content, educational resources and more.

First, the children’s preschool series will welcome Julia, a Muppet with autism, to its programming. The new character was introduced last year in digital form, but will now come to life as both a Muppet and through a series of resources designed to serve autistic children and their families. She will also aim to help to increase awareness and understanding of autism.

“Sesame Street’s” special episode, titled “Meet Julia,” will air this April on HBO and PBS Kids in the U.S. as well as on Cartoonito U.K., Australia’s ABC network and Mexico’s Televisa, with a worldwide rollout planned within the year.

Other new resources surrounding Julia include: six new digital live-action segments featuring Julia, Elmo and Abby Cadabby on YouTube and SesameStreet.org; a We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3! e-book, a free “Sesame Street and Autism” app via Amazon; a Julia walk around Muppet costumed character for community events; a We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3! print book; and more.

"Bringing Julia to life as a ‘Sesame Street’ Muppet is the centerpiece of all of our new materials to support families of children with autism," says Sherrie Westin, executive vice president, global impact and philanthropy, Sesame Workshop. "The response from the autism community to See Amazing in all Children has been extraordinary, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to promote understanding and acceptance of autism, as part of our mission of helping all children grow smarter, stronger and kinder."

In creating the See Amazing initiative, Sesame Workshop worked for more than five years in consultation with more than 250 organizations and experts within the autism community. It is funded with support from American Greetings, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Kristen Rohr. The special “Sesame Street” episode, titled Meet Julia, was also made possible by funding from HBO.

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