Who is Julia?

Maddie Smucker, Reporter

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Around the country, people have been talking about a new character on the popular kid’s television series of Sesame Street. The show has been around for quite a long time, not only because of the fact that it entertains a wide variety of ages, but also because it encourages prosocial, cooperative behavior among children. From the very start, when Sesame Street first premiered on November 10, 1969, the show has been focused on educational entertainment for kids. Many of the puppets included in the show, symbolize different disorders and problems that a lot of kids face in our society. Through this normalization of Autism, the show is trying to create ways to include all kids and to help kids have a positive, more accepting view of the people around them that are different.

The new muppet character, Julia, who’s appeared in books, apps, and other supplemental material is a young girl that has Autism. In the episodes she is featured in, when she has issues, the Sesame Street gang shows her compassion and understanding and explains to the kids watching that Julia is a lot like other kids they know, and just needs a little bit extra understanding.  It is apparent to the viewers that Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the gang knows that Julia just “has her own way of doing things.”

There are many platforms in our culture that can promote compassion and understanding in the younger generations. It is great to see that there is progress being made in normalizing autism and other mental diseases.



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Who is Julia?