'Sesame Street' to introduce viewers to first Muppet with autism
Next month, viewers of "Sesame Street" will be introduced to Julia, a Muppet with autism.
The newest member of the cast with red hair and green eyes has been present on digital properties and printed works for some time. Now she'll get her TV debut in April.
On Sunday the show posted videos to the HBO site and YouTube, introducing Julia to the new medium. She sings "Sunny Days" with her friend Abby Cadabby.
"Sesame Street" senior writer Christine Ferraro told "60 Minutes" that the character was complex because "autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism."
Clips from her debut show depict Julia in normal situations, where she might not answer a new friend right away, but someone who knows Julia explains the situation to the other characters.
Stacey Gordon, the mother of a son with autism, will be the puppeteer for Julia.
"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. They might not have been worried when he cried. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that’s OK," Gordon told "60 Minutes."