In the wake of Autism Awareness Month, Sesame Street is introducing the entire family of Julia, who is the first ever muppet with autism to join the show.
Julia has been a part of the Sesame Street gang since 2017 and now the rest of the family is coming on board as well.
We are thrilled to continue expanding our See Amazing initiative this month with the introduction of Julia’s family for the first time in Muppet form! Julia’s parents, big brother & dog appear in new videos online: https://t.co/oTnmv3U13D #SeeAmazing pic.twitter.com/6T3JGa8Quy — Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) April 1, 2019
New Cast Of Characters On 'Sesame Street'
The new characters include Julia's entire family: her father who plays the saxophone, her mother who is an art teacher, her older brother Sam, and her pet dog, Rose.
"Children with autism often face unique challenges, as do their parents and siblings," Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, says in a statement to Good Morning America. "But every family faces challenges of some sort, which is why we are focusing on what all families have in common. In a family, everyone has different roles, challenges, and strengths, and everyone can learn from one another."
Of course, the other Sesame Street characters are embracing their new friends.
"Julia has autism. And that makes Julia different," Elmo tells GMA. "But it's really cool that everybody's a little bit different but same, too."
The fan-favorite muppet adds that he has a lot of things in common with Julia and they enjoy spending time together.
In Honor Of Autism Awareness Month
Jeanette Betancourt, who is the senior vice president for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, explains that the team hopes getting to know Julia and her family can help families who live with autism.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization associated with the show, also released new resources on their website related to autism and bullying. The organization joined forces with Autism Speaks and the Ad Council for a public awareness campaign encouraging awareness of early signs of autism and early intervention.
According to CDC, about one in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.
While there is no cure for ASD, certain treatments can help patients with ASD function better and manage their symptoms such as high energy levels, depression, inability to focus, and even seizures. From medication to behavioral therapy to alternative medicine, there are a number of options for those who are diagnosed with this condition.
Early intervention is important, since it has been shown to improve a child's development immensely.