Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Autistic “Sesame Street” Character Julia Shows Kids How to Hug Someone Who Dislikes Being Touched. Julia is so refreshing because she is portrayed as a normal child—she plays, she has friends, she has a family. Julia, a new autistic muppet character, will join the cast of "Sesame Street" in April. ASAN Has Ended Partnership With Sesame Street, The impact of the Sesame Street “See Amazing in All Children” initiative, Sesame Street’s autistic muppet, Julia, was a huge success. Sesame Workshop aimed to reduce “the stigma of autism” through the characterization of Julia in the digital storybook, We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3!. But those differences are embraced by the people around her. Sesame Street is hoping to help destigmatize autism by introducing its first autistic muppet, Julia. Sesame Street welcomes first autistic charact... 01:41 The folks who have been bringing us "Sesame Street" for 46 years say their mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. We are running it again now, with updates throughout, as Julia will make her debut on Sesame Street in April.. Ironically, a felt puppet with a traffic-cone-orange nose is one of the most realistic, informed, and positive representations of autism to ever appear on television. Bravo, Sesame Street – your character with autism will … By Peter Bochner. Sesame Street on Wednesday introduced its first autistic character, Julia. Recently, Julia appeared in a series of Public Service Announcements (“PSAs”) produced with the Ad Council and Autism Speaks. Additionally, ASAN’s director of operations, Zoe Gross says the problem lies in what the organization is endorsing in the episodes/ads featuring Julia. This is relatively harmless—I and many other autistic adults feel that funding, and focus, on early diagnosis is disproportionate to the benefits and excessive, but it’s hardly offensive. At first, it might not be so obvious what’s wrong with the partnership. An autistic character is now part of Sesame Street, it emerged Wednesday. Meet Julia, an old buddy of Elmo’s and the newest friend on Sesame Street. Bernie’s Mittens! Sesame Street has become the latest television show to introduce a character with autism. Cookie Settings The four-year-old girl with an orange bob-cut and green eyes debuted in 2015 as part of the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. … According to ASAN, the materials relating to the campaign stigmatized children with autism and their families. At first only in an online picture book, and later the show itself, the character, an autistic 4-year-old girl, was shaped by a diverse group of autism advocates and researchers. After nearly a decade of featuring the same Muppet characters, Sesame Street added a yellow Muppet named Julia. An autistic Sesame Street character is caught in a conflict between the most prominent autism organisation in the United States. But now, the organization is no longer involved. The Autism Speaks PSAs promote a message diametrically opposed to the spirit and purpose of the character. Julia, a Sesame Street character meant to represent a child with autism, is shown here at the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Want to know more about Autism and its early signs? @2021 Parentology. The ads encourage viewers to have their children screened for autism and points to a resource on the Autism Speaks website that declares, “For Julia’s family, early screening made a lifetime of difference.” The first and biggest link on the page is a test called the M-CHAT-R (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised). People go out of their way to understand and include her. Thu Jan 07 2021. An exciting new character is set to join the world of "Sesame Street." Autism Speaks is behind the 100 Day Kit for Young Children, which describes itself as “a tool designed to help assist families of children recently diagnosed with autism during the critical period following an autism diagnosis.” Autism can require a high degree of specialized support, and many parents don’t adequately learn about their child’s disabilities. It was groundbreaking that Sesame Street told stories about an autistic person in consultation with actual autistic people. As a mother of an autistic child, she was able to characterize Julia. The popular children’s show introduces Julia, an autistic character, in a digital storybook. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at any time. Why the Team Behind Sesame Street Created a Character With Autism The bravest new face on television is a Muppet that doesn’t say much. “Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism,” the guide announces on its first page. The kit even has an entire section outlining how parents may go through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief. I love the fact that the character they chose is a girl, for example, because there are virtually no examples of women with autism in popular culture. And now, Julia is being used to promote a resource that suggests parents of newly diagnosed autistic children go through the five stages of grief for their (still-living) child, among other regressive and dangerous narratives about autism. Watch the Video. A new character is joining Elmo, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird on Sesame Street – her name is Julia and she is the first muppet with autism. Autistic Self Advocacy Network: ASAN Has Ended Partnership With Sesame StreetSage Journal: The impact of the Sesame Street “See Amazing in All Children” initiativeFast Company: Sesame Street’s autistic muppet, Julia, was a huge success. “The 100 Day Kit encourages parents to blame family difficulties on their autistic child … and to view autism as a terrible disease from which their child can ‘get better,'” the statement reads. Julia is sunshine-yellow and never without her beloved rabbit, Fluffster. Sesame Street is introducing its first character with autism.. Julia, a little yellow Muppet girl, is part of a campaign to reduce stigma surrounding the disorder. I hope Sesame Workshop reconsiders its puzzling decision to promote harmful narratives about autism—after waiting so long for a character like her, autistic people like me deserve to love and embrace Julia in an uncomplicated way. Meet Julia, an old buddy of Elmo’s and the newest friend on Sesame Street. All contents © 2021 The Slate Group LLC. The Sesame Workshop says she is being introduced as part of a campaign to take the stigma away from the disorder. Meet Sesame Street's First Character with Autism: 'We Want to Create Greater Awareness and Empathy' Julia, a new muppet with autism, will join Grover and Elmo in their Sesame Street … What’s not to love about playing music with friends or promoting diversity in communication? Without a doubt, the digital storybook and its materials have been an effective resource in transforming knowledge about developmental disorders. Many people on the autism spectrum who have sensory sensitivities dislike certain types of physical touch, such as hugging. The 100 Days Guide for Young Children, on the other hand, says the exact opposite more than a dozen times. The kit includes useful tools for advocating for a child’s inclusive education and keeping appointments organized, for example. But she speaks volumes about life on the spectrum Cure research has become increasingly unpopular as neurodiversity, the branch of the disability rights movement pioneered by autistic self-advocates, has become mainstream. In May 2019, a study in the international peer-reviewed journal Autism stated, “Following exposure, parents of non-autistic children showed small but significant increases in knowledge of autism and, like parents of autistic children, greater acceptance of autistic children.”, Similarly, the journal describes, “Parents of autistic children reported less strain, increased parenting competence, and more hope about involving their child in their community.”. Sesame Street’s Autistic Muppet, Julia, Accused of Stigmatizing Autism. Get the latest news, updates, giveaways and more - sent right to your inbox. What could possibly be wrong? The 100 Day Kit features a persistent narrative that having a child like me or Sesame Street’s Julia is like having a child who has died. 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