An adorable new character has joined the Sesame Street gang as of Wednesday.
The newest neighbor, a green-eyed girl named Julia, is part of an educational and awareness initiative by the nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop, to help children and adults understand the world of an autistic person.
Autism is a brain disorder characterized by a difficulty to interact with other people, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. These particularities are described in a digital book featuring Elmo, one of the most beloved Sesame Street characters.
The story, “We’re amazing, 1, 2, 3!”, is about how Elmo introduces Julia to his friend Abby, who doesn’t quite understand Julia’s behavior about certain situations and stimuli. Elmo, in his particular way of seeing the world, explains to Abby how Julia “does things a little differently”, but he also explains that we are all different in our own way, and that we’re all amazing.
According to the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative, 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), only in the United States.
This initiative has been developed over the course of 3 years by parents of autistic children, people who serve the autistic community, and people with autism.
For more information, and free resources, visit www.SesameStreet.org/Autism