Meet Julia, a New 'Sesame Street' Muppet with Autism

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These characters are the show's most familiar faces, and while these classic muppets will never leave the series, every once in a while the creators introduce someone new.

I don't know about you, but I definitely watched Sesame Street as a little kid. Julia first appeared online and in print as part of a "Sesame Street" and autism initiative, singing Sunny Days with her friend Abby Cadabby (the 3-year-old fairy played by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph).

Sesame Street will soon introduce viewers to Julia, a new Muppet who has autism.

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

Sesame Workshop (formerly known as Children's Television Workshop) has been developing Julia's character for three years, consulting with 14 different autism groups including the Autism Society of America.

Sesame Street, the beloved show that airs on the very same public broadcasting network that's been threatened under the new Trump budget, has debuted its first new muppet in a decade. When the two are introduced by pals Abby and Elmo, Julia is hesitant to shake Big Bird's hand.

The newcomer, #Julia, is special not just because she has orange hair and is seen always playing with her favorite stuffed bunny. Sometimes, she doesn't notice when her friends try to get her attention; sometimes, she sees things other people don't.

Autism diagnoses have risen steadily in recent years to a rate of one in every 68 U.S. children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stacy Gordon, one of the show's puppeteers, was selected to play Julia - which means a lot to her personally, as her son was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She was so well-received producers chose to have her come and play where everything's A-OK and set about designing a new Muppet and will make her TV debut in the USA on 10 April. "I'm just hoping to bring her the heart", she said.

'There is an expression that goes, "If you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism,"' Ferraro told Stahl. Her son has a form of autism. But now, Julia is becoming a regular cast member on the show itself, and she can been seen on the "Meet Julia" episode on April 10, airing on both PBS and HBO.