Meet Julia, ‘Sesame Street’s’ First Autistic Character!

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Lesley Stahl stopped by the Sesame Street set for 60 Minutes, and there to greet her was the neighborhood’s newest Muppet resident: Julia, an orange-haired, orange-nosed 4-year-old girl who also happens to be autistic – a first for the program.

Julia fits in seamlessly to Sesame Street‘s ethos of diversity and presenting characters similar to the people that children might encounter in real life. One hope behind her development is that when little viewers see Julia have a meltdown due to her noise sensitivity, they will not be as scared when they see one of their classmates act the same way.

There is a clear effort being made to make Julia’s condition not that big a deal. Hopefully that means she will one day be making jokes about having a banana in her ear, just like Bert and Ernie.

Julia is booked to appear in two episodes this season, and more the next. Watch the 60 Minutes segment below:

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