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'Sesame Street' Character With Autism to Raise Awareness of Disorder

Image: 'Sesame Street' Character With Autism to Raise Awareness of Disorder
The newest "Sesame Street" character, Julia, aims to raise awareness about autism. (Sreengrab via YouTube)

By    |   Monday, 20 Mar 2017 02:18 PM

The newest "Sesame Street" character, Julia, will have autism as the show attempts to teach children about the disorder.

The new Muppet will begin appearing in the show on April 10, but Julia has been part of print and digital materials including a storybook, videos, e-books and an app and website for the past year, according to The Associated Press. Sesame Workshop has used the character to help parents and kids understand autism and the different symptoms, challenges, and strengths involved in the autism spectrum.

"Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied," senior vice president of U.S. social impact Dr. Jeanette Betancourt told People magazine. "And with one 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. Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group."

The TV show, app, and other materials break down and explain on a preschool child’s level the behaviors exhibited by many autistic children and help kids learn how to better understand and communicate with their autistic peers.

"We want to create greater awareness and empathy," Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop's executive vice president of global impacts and philanthropy, told People.

Twitter users were quick to express its appreciation for Sesame Street’s efforts to help kids understand autism.

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The newest "Sesame Street" character, Julia, will have autism as the show attempts to teach children about the disorder.
sesame street, character, autism, disorder
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2017-18-20
Monday, 20 Mar 2017 02:18 PM
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