Sesame Street gets a new character - Julia the Muppet with AUTISM

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will present a federal budget this week that was put together amid uncertainty over U.S. fiscal and trade course

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will present a federal budget this week that was put together amid uncertainty over U.S. fiscal and trade course

Over the nearly five decades "Sesame Street" has been on the air, it has established a reputation for inclusion with its characters.

Parents of children with autism told officials at Sesame how important the show was for their kids.

Ms Ferraro said she hoped Julia could help children so when they encounter people with autism in real life, "it's familiar, and they see they can be their friends too".

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that impacts a person's communication, social interaction, interests and behaviour.

"He's checking off all those nevers that people said he could never do", said his dad.

"More than 20 years ago, my lovely son received the diagnosis of autism, and my world changed instantly and profoundly", Kimmelman said in a statement.

Sesame Street's YouTube page released several new clips featuring Julia, many with the character Abby Cadabby.

As David Folkenflik reports for NPR, Julia will make her first television appearance on April 10, becoming the first new Muppet to join the Sesame Street cast in a decade. "You know - autism - it brings wonderful gifts".

The introduction of Julia was the educational franchise's first digital character with autism, and was introduced as part of the show's online initiative, Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in all Children - an initiative aimed to reduce "the stigma of autism". Through working with autism organizations and various child specialists, they chose to have Julia exemplify more common characteristics of those on the spectrum - sometimes not responding when spoken to, flapping her hands when upset, and being bothered by sudden noises.

But to meet their goal of having Julia accepted as one of the gang, the team also committed to teaching kids how to play with her.

Julia's debut episode will deal with what autism can look like. Rather than make fun of her or be scared by her unusual reaction, the kids make it part of the game. She said the creation of an autistic muppet is "huge".

On Sesame Street's website, she can be seen in short videos alongside some of the show's most iconic characters such as Elmo and Abby.

In the story, Julia will also get overexcited while playing and react by jumping up and down. As a mom of a son with autism, Gordon shares a special connection with Julia. "They might not have been anxious when he cried".

Several beloved Sesame Street characters opened up to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl about their first interaction with Julia.

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