The most recent character added to the 'Sesame Street' neighborhood was named Julia. From the outside Julia may look like any other character from the show with red hair, green eyes and a bright smile, but what is different about Julia is that she also has autism.
Children with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than any other child due to their differences. The Sesame Workshop launched Julia as part of their educational and awareness initiative; with a goal for children to see what they have in common versus seeing their differences as a negative. By adding a relatable character that children can understand whether they know someone with autism or are still completely unaware can make a significant impact on their interactions and view of autism in the future.
Sesame Street is one of the only TV shows that is currently recognizing autism, but we have hope that they will not be the last and many others TV shows, movies and forms of media will soon follow in their footsteps. Education and awareness is the first step to improving the lives of children and adults with autism.