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Sesame Street Introduces Viewers to Julia’s Family for Autism Awareness Month

Sesame Street Introduces Viewers to Julia’s Family for Autism Awareness Month

As Sesame Street’s first character with autism, Julia is helping kids around the world understand the condition. Now we get to meet the rest of her family.

In 2017, the children’s TV program Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet for the first time in ten years.

Julia, the gang’s shy friend, loves flowers, paints remarkable pictures and often repeats what other cast members say. Julia has autism, and she has helped kids around the world better understand this condition, which affects one out of every 59 US children.

Now, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, the beloved children’s show is expanding Julia’s world to include her entire family. In an episode set to premiere on April 8th, viewers will be introduced to Julia’s older brother Sam, her mom Elena (an art teacher), her dad Daniel (who plays the saxophone) and her companion dog, Rose.

Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street’s parent company, developed Julia’s character over the course of three years with help from 14 autism advocacy groups. The introduction of Julia’s family is timed to coincide with Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative.

The team recognizes that there’s no one autism experience, but they believe Julia and her family will be relatable to most children on the spectrum. They hope she’ll encourage other kids to empathize with and accept children who have autism as well.

“Children with autism often face unique challenges, as do their parents and siblings,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop in a press release. “But every family faces challenges of some sort, which is why we are focusing on what all families have in common.”

To watch Julia and her family, tune into PBS Kids, HBO or YouTube starting April 8, 2019 Additionally, on April 6, Barnes & Noble will hold storytime events in over 630 locations nationwide, featuring the Family Forever storybook about Julia’s family.  You can learn more about autism, including common signs, by visiting Sharecare’s Autism Spectrum Disorders page.

Photo Information: © 2019 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Richard Termnine. 
Julia is the third Muppet from the left.

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