The show posted images on Twitter of its new character, Julia - an orange haired, rabbit-loving, autistic four year old, set to grace screens next month.
For example, when Julia first meets Big Bird, she ignores him but Elmo helpfully explains that since Julia has autism, "sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things", Quartz reported. Julia is a little different from the other characters on the show. "His experiences are helping him grow and also helping me grow and Julia grow and hopefully help other kids grow too". Sesame Street's website has since provided additional details about the character, as well as a number of introductory videos before her official April 10 arrival on the series.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that impacts a person's communication, social interaction, interests and behaviour. "I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism". She told the program: "It's important for kids without autism to see what autism can look like". She has already appeared in Sesame Street cartoons and books, but this will be her first appearance on the famous children's show. Gordon noted: "Had my son's friends been exposed to his behaviours through something they had seen on TV before they experienced it in the classroom, they might not have been frightened..."
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The National Autistic Society are also thrilled about Julia's character. "He's more interested in math and science, and plays the piano brilliantly", she says with pride.
He told HuffPost UK: "Almost everyone has heard of autism now".
Another challenge for TV and movie creators is understanding the broad spectrum of severity within an autism diagnosis. His son, who has autism, watched the show as a child.
Sesame Street is adding a new character to its ranks - a muppet called Julia, who has autism.