New autis­tic star of Sesame Street

Daily Mail - - News - By Alexan­der Holmes Show­busi­ness Re­porter

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

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