'Sesame Street' Announces First-Ever Character With Autism

Her name is Julia.

There's a new character coming to Sesame Street and she's unlike the rest. 

Wednesday morning, the popular children's franchise introduced a new character to the Sesame Street Workshop. Her name is Julia and she has autism. 

She'll join Elmo, Abby and Grover as characters featured in its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. It wanted more children (and parents) to see that though people with autism face different challenges, their unique qualities make the world more interesting. 

According to its website, the initiative will specifically help families with children ages 2 to 5 with autism to "overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities." 

"At the same time, the project fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids," it wrote. 

"Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied," Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact, told PEOPLE. "And with 1 in 68 children having autism, that's a lot of bullying. Our goal is to bring forth what all children share in common, not their differences."


Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children features a digital book with Julia and company, as well as a video with "The Amazing Song."

The idea is that everyone can be exposed to and learn more about autism. By seeing a character who is just like them, kids will be more likely to feel included. And kids who don't have autism will be exposed to what autism is.

A win-win for Sesame Street fans, young and old. 

Cover image: See-ming Lee / Flickr; The USO

(H/T: People)


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