The muppets on Sesame Street have a new friend named Julia, who is the long-running show's first character with autism.
Sesame Street is introducing Julia to television audiences this week, though she's already a fixture in the show's "See Amazing in All Children" campaign.
The storybook at the center of the initiative was written by Leslie Kimmelman, whose son is on the autism spectrum. The story features 4-year-old Julia on a playdate with Elmo and Abby Cadabby. Along the way, we learn a little about Julia and kids with autism.
Like all of us, Julia is amazing in her own ways. In her case, those include being a really good singer and remembering all the words to lots of songs, Sesame Street says.
National Public Radio notes that Julia likes to paint and pick flowers and she often repeats what she's just heard her friends say. 3-year-old Abby Cadabby tells the network it can often be hard to get her attention. "But that's just Julia being Julia," Abby says.
Sesame Street has lots of resources about autism available through its website, including pages with tips on how to explain autism to young children and what to say to a parent of a child with autism.