Julia is played by puppeteer Stacey Gordon, herself a mother of a son with autism. Gordon told Stahl she traveled to New York from her home in Arizona to audition for the part.
She said the fact that an autistic character is being included on the show is “huge.”
“It means that our kids are important enough to be seen in society,” she told 60 Minutes. “Having Julia on the show and seeing all of the characters treat her with compassion.”
She said that she hopes that kids will better understand autistic children, like her son, after seeing Julia on the show.
“Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviors through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened,” she said. “They might not have been worried when he cried. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that’s okay.”
Sesame Street has a new autistic muppet, and they’ve released a video about happy stimming (as a positive thing)
It’s to teach both allistic and autistic children about stimming and how it is a good thing and something to be encouraged!
(Note: Julia isn’t very verbal, but on the show they do say that many autistic people act differently. She is modelled on one common type, rather than trying to portray every possible type at once.
Also, the puppeteer has an autistic son!)
For the first time in a decade, the classic children’s television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.
Her name is Julia. She’s a shy and winsome 4-year-old, with striking red hair and green eyes. Julia likes to paint and pick flowers. When Julia speaks, she often echoes what she’s just heard her friends Abby and Elmo say. Julia has autism.