New autistic star of Sesame Street
SESAME Street is to introduce a character with autism called Julia.
She will first star in the long-running children’s show next month as a redhead who loves to sing and remembers the words to lots of songs. Julia is made to feel a part of the ‘gang’ after meeting the street’s most well-known character, Big Bird.
The show, which launched in 1969, says it worked with organisations including the Autism Self Advocacy Network and Autism Speaks to best personify traits of a child with autism. Christine Ferraro, a Sesame Street writer for more than two decades, said: ‘It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism.’
Miss Ferraro and Stacey Gordon, the puppeteer who will play Julia, both have family members who are on the autistic spectrum. Mrs Gordon said: ‘Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviours through something on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened.’
New kid in town: Julia