In April 2017, the world met Julia, the first Sesame Street character with autism. Now, two years later, Sesame Street will introduce to Julia's family in honor of Autism Awareness Month in 2019, ABC News reports.
When Julia joined the cast of Sesame Street, she made history. She was the first new Muppet to appear on the show in nearly a decade, and one of the only characters with autism on a mainstream children's program. By showing Julia interacting with Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the residents of Sesame Street, the show's creators offered a positive depiction of autism for both kids on the spectrum and their families, and children who may not be familiar with the disorder.
This April, Julia's whole family will debut in online videos for Sesame Workshop's Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. The new Muppets include her mother Elena, her father Daniel, her brother Samuel, and her dog Rose. Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop's president of global impact and philanthropy, says in the video below, "Our goal is to increase understanding, to increase awareness, to increase empathy, and by helping others understand, and by helping autistic children feel less alone, Julia is changing the world."
Julia is just one way Sesame Street is improving the world for kids with autism. Last April, Sesame Place became the first theme park designated as a Certified Autism Center, and recently, the Sesame Workshop published videos and other free digital resources for families of kids with autism.
[h/t ABC News]