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Sesame Street’s Julia, a new friend with autism, to make debut Monday

Julia opens a new era in Sesame Street history.


Chris Tognotti


There’s a new character coming to Sesame Street on Monday morning, and she ought to be a meaningful presence for a lot of kids.

Her name is Julia, and she’s on the autism spectrum, bringing a Muppet with autism center stage for the first time in the show’s 46 seasons. Julia was first revealed in 2015, as part of a project titled “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing In All Children.” And in a promo released last week, HBO teased some footage of her, along with the date and time of Julia’s debut episode: It’ll be airing on Monday at 8am ET.

Julia’s addition to the Sesame Street cast comes amid increased visibility and attention paid to people with autism and with an emphasis on teaching adults and children alike how to treat people on the spectrum with compassion, care, and understanding. As such, it makes perfect sense that Sesame Street would make this move, as instilling a sense of friendship, decency, and compassion in children has been one of the show’s foremost goals during its nearly 50-year history.

In short, Julia’s addition to the Muppet cast figures to be a helpful new way to teach young children about autism and how it may impact some of their friends. Or, to allow young children with autism to see a piece of themselves reflected back on the television, modeling a supportive and loving environment.

In the words of the show, Julia “does things just a little bit differently, in that Julia sort of way.” Anyone who wants to watch can either catch it live on HBO when it airs (once again, that’s 8am on Monday), watch it online after the fact with your HBO subscription, or wait until it airs on public television months from now.

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The Daily Dot