19 Oct There’s a new friend on the Street!
The beloved children’s show Sesame Street has introduced a new friend called Julia, a puppet with autism. The show has tackled many social problems in its long run, including looking different, dealing with death, and fitting in while also embracing your differences.
This is the first time they have tackled autism on screen, although Julia has made several well-received storybook appearances. The writers decided to tackle several key autistic issues with Julia’s appearance, including her ignoring Big Bird, which is what some kids with the disorder do.
Making a new friend
The episode focuses on Big Bird and the other residents of the street learning about autism and how to make sure Julia has fun with their games. Big Bird and Julia do become friends by the end of the show, with the assembled Muppets learning that “she does things just a little differently” and that it is okay to be different, sometimes it can even be fun!
This episode and Julia’s other subsequent appearances are designed to give exposure to autism to young children and help them understand what to do when someone with the disorder is present in their own lives.