When I first saw the news images of The Cookie Monster, Grouch, Bird Bird and, of course, Elmo came flooding back! As a childhood favourite I was delighted to see Sesame Street gaining popularity again with a new and colourful character.
Meet Julia the the bright eyed little girl who will be joining Elmo, Big Bird and the family in a new show to help spread awareness of autism. Julia will be playing an essential role in the new online programme, first showcased on 21st October, called ‘Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children’.
According to CNN the Sesame Workshop partnered with 14 other organizations, including the Yale Child Study Center and Autism Speaks, on the initiative.
“We wanted to demonstrate some of the characteristics of autism in a positive way,” she says. The choice of gender was also deliberate. “We wanted to break down some of the myths and misconceptions around autism. It’s not only impacting boys, but girls as well.”
Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop Vice President
Julia’s story is just one part of Sesame Streets larger Autism Initiative. Here you can find a series of wonderful videos highlighting children with autism as well as their siblings, parents and friends.
Along with Julia’s book “We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3” parents and children who make their way online or via the app, will find “Benny’s Story”, a short video animation created in part by young artists on the autism spectrum, daily activity cards featuring Sesame Street Characters and various other resources.
As of yet Julia will not be appearing on Sesame Street’s main stream material which may hinder the initiatives impact as it will be limited to only those that seek it out. Hopefully, in the near future this will change and the bright eyed little girl will be seen as one of the main characters on the popular TV show.
And now for your viewing pleasure, “The Amazing Song!” (because it’s awesome!).
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