In a positive step for inclusive community development, Sesame Street will introduce an autistic Muppet named Julia into its onscreen world next month.
Julia first appeared in a Sesame Street digital storybook last year. As revealed on this past Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes, Julia is set to make her television debut alongside characters Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Big Bird.
Julia’s debut will feature a scene where Elmo and Abby will explain the neurodevelopmental disorder to Big Bird, who appears confused by the Muppet’s lack of a response upon being introduced to her.
How to talk about autism is central to the creative team’s approach in bringing the new character onto the show.
“It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism,” longtime writer Christine Ferrarro told CBS. “There is an expression that goes, ‘If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.'”