In 2017, Julia, the first muppet with autism, joined Sesame Street. Now, the beloved children’s series is leaning into inclusivity and autism education even more.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Julia’s entire family is joining the Sesame Street cast to further demonstrate, as Elmo said during an interview with Good Morning America today, how cool it is that “everybody’s a little bit different but [the] same, too.”
As autism affects one in 59 children in the United States and their families, Julia’s inclusion in the cast was a major stride toward teaching children about autism and how to be compassionate and understanding to those who are diagnosed with it. Julia’s family becoming a part of the fold doubles down on helping to de-stigmatize autism and shed light on how families with an autistic child are no different from families who aren’t affected by autism.
Elmo and Julia chatted with ABC News’s Paula Faris today about their friendship. (Yes, muppets were interviewed on TV.) The ticklish red muppet explained, “Julia has autism and that makes Julia different…But it’s really cool that everybody’s a little bit different but same, too. And Elmo and Julia have a lot in common, and we have a lot of fun together.”
Now, Julia’s art teacher mom, saxophone-playing dad, older brother Sam and her dog will get to experience that “fun” firsthand. Sam also spoke to Faris about his sister and explained, “It may take a few tries to get to know Julia.”
He went on to clarify, “But just because she doesn’t respond doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be friends.”