Say hello to Julia, the newest muppet on Sesame Street — and the first character on the show with autism!
Sesame Street Workshop launched its newest nationwide initiative Wednesday morning, which aims to reduce “the stigma of autism” with the introduction of the first ever autistic muppet!
The initiative Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children was created for families with kids ages 2-5, and includes free downloadable videos, storybook materials, and digital story cards to make daily tasks easier for families of autistic children!
Senior vice president of U.S. social impact Dr. Jeanette Betancourt said that the initiative is to give other children a better understanding of autism, explaining:
“Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied. And with one in 68 children having autism, that’s a lot of bullying.”
The free app aims to highlight what all children share in common instead of focusing on differences, with videos explaining what having autism is like from an autistic child’s point of view.
The initiative is directed at families with children with autism as well as the general public. Sesame Street and Autism hopes to enlighten parents on useful practices for everyday situations like brushing teeth, going to bed, and crossing the street!
Dr. Betancourt explains that Julia was created digitally because families with autistic children “tend to gravitate toward digital content,” adding:
“We are trying to spread the story about the theory behind this whole thing ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ love and acceptance. Everyone is touched by autism, and by creating Julia, Sesame is bringing children together.”
We think this new initiative is AH-Mazing and will not only educate children, but adults as well!
[Image via Sesame Street Workshop.]