Sesame Street Adds Muppet With Autism
There’s a newcomer on the Sesame Street block: a preschooler with autism named Julia.
The Sesame Workshop said Wednesday that the character is being introduced as part of an initiative to take the stigma out of autism. The initiative also is aimed at helping those who deal with the developmental disorder.
In one story already online, entitled We’re Amazing 1,2,3!, Elmo says: “Elmo’s daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times.”
The new initiative, called “See Amazing in All Children,” will provide educational resources about autism to teachers and others. It also will offer tools for handling everyday activities to families touched by it.
Sesame Street Welcomes Julia A Muppet With Autism
Its much-loved muppets Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch have been charming viewers for almost 50 years.
And now the children’s TV show Sesame Street is introducing a new muppet character with a simpler name, and a tougher brief.
The character is already included in digital and printed storybooks.
However, bosses want to step up her role.
Autism diagnoses have risen steadily in recent years to a rate of one in every 68 US children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But explaining the topic to a young audience is far from straightforward.
Who Is The Green Sesame Street Character
Oscar the GrouchOscar the Grouch puppet made by Muppets, Inc. for the Childrens Television Workshop for use in the production of the television series Sesame Street, ca. 1970-1980. Oscar is a green furry monster who lives in a trash can on Sesame Street and frequently argues with the other Muppet and human characters.
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Parenting Experts Chimed In
Then came the parenting experts.
Oh puh-lease. Im so over this Autism stuff. Back in my day it was called being socially awkward. Parents now just need a reason to stop being parents. I cant say no because he has Autism and he doesnt understand. Anything to drop their kids on someone else for therapy which is really just them going to a glorified babysitter so the parents dont have to deal with the tantrums they created by never giving rules and guidelines on how to act.
Do you know what I am over? Adults who feel ok about bullying children with special needs, and doing it behind the safe anonymity of a computer screen while online.
autism is fake its parents that cant control their kids!
Perhaps if you had watched a little more Sesame Street, you would understand the basic rules of capitalization.
New Kid On The Block Julia Building Autism Awareness
Just in time for autism awareness month, Sesame Workshop is introducing a new friend to its program for kids across the world.
Julia is a young Muppet with red hair who loves to sing and carries a stuffed bunnyshes also Sesame Streets first autistic character, created to build awareness and understanding among kids and families.
Theres a lot of potential for Julia to create inclusion among children with autism, said , who works with autistic patients and their families at Ascensions Dell Childrens Medical Center of Central Texas. She leads the hospitals child and adolescent psychiatry program.
Dell Childrens and Seton are part of part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the worlds largest Catholic health system.
Sesame Workshop also added educational materials about autism, available online in English and in Spanish.
Meet Julia will debut April 10 on HBO and PBS kids.
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How Sesame Street Created Julia The New Muppet With Autism
This spring, Sesame Street introduced a Muppet on the spectrum. Go behind the scenes with 60 Minutes to see how the shows first character with autism was developed
- 2017Sep 03
Entertaining and educating children on television for almost 50 years, the residents of Sesame Street have become household names. Theres Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, and Oscar the Grouch. Some, like Elmo, Bert, and Ernie, need only one name.
Now they have a new friend: Julia.
This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Lesley Stahl visits the set of Sesame Street to report on the new Muppet. Julia has appeared in an online initiative since October 2015, and as some viewers may already be aware from these videos, Julia has autism. Now shes joining the gang of Sesame Street on television.
On Sesame Street, creating a new character means making a new Muppet, and in the video embedded in the player above, Stahl visits the Jim Henson Workshop to see how its done.
What did it take to build a character like Julia?
Well in this particular case, it takes a lot of sensitivity, Stahl says. She interviewed Rollie Krewson, a puppet designer often referred to as Elmos mom, who has been with Jim Hensons company since the 1970s. Krewson created Julias Muppet with consideration down to the smallest detail.
Once built, Julia was ready for the set. Stahl and the 60 Minutes crew were there as Sesame Street filmed her first episode.
Validating Each Familys Feelings
Rachel Fein, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist who works within the Autism Center at Texas Childrens Hospital, said she understands why self-advocates may be offended by the messaging in the kit. She added, however, that her responsibility as a provider is to offer as much evidence-based information as possible while also validating a familys feelings.
I dont tell families how they should feel after they learn that their child has autism, but I certainly validate those feelings, whatever those might be, said Fein, an assistant professor of psychology in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. There are some families that, their journey to finally getting their child evaluated or finally getting the services that they needfor some its not a surprise for them, in fact, its almost a relief, because they have a name to describe some of the things that theyve been seeing all along.
But, Fein added, other families struggle with hearing the information.
Some families, they describe it as grief, Fein said. Other families, they just describe it as, I want the best for my kid I want them to have the best life that they can possibly have. And I think that can be really challenging, especially for some of the self-advocates. They hear that and it can be saddening to hear, and it can be offensive, but I also think its coming from a place of a parent who never wants their child to experience any sort of struggle or pain.
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Meet Sesame Streets Julia: A Muppet Character Whos Autistic
Theres a new character on Sesame Street.
Her name is . Shes 4. Shes a muppet. And shes on the autism spectrum.
Research and character development for Julia to come play with Big Bird and Elmo is part of a bigger effort to create resources for families and teachers.
Show producers welcomed input on developing the character, said Julia Bascom, deputy executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Often autistic people get left out of societal conventions about us, Bascom said. In the show itself, its been really great to see her movements and her way of communication respected. Julia flaps and jumps when shes happy.
Sesame Street, Bascom said, has special meaning in the autistic community where many struggle in school and learn to read watching the show.
Hillary Robertson, a researcher at Georgetown University, said the show will reach a lot of people dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. For example, A parent who has just found out that their child has an ASD diagnosis, teachers, community members, she said.
Sesame Streets Meet Julia episode premieres Monday, April 10 on HBO, PBS and YouTube.
How Sesame Workshop And The Julia Muppet Are Supporting Autism Children
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA – JULY 15: The first autistic Sesame Street muppet Julia accepts the … HollyRod Corporate Compassion Award for Sesame Workshop at HollyRod Foundation’s DesignCare Gala on July 15, 2017 in Pacific Palisades, California.
Sesame Workshop is expanding its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative with new resources featuring Julia, a 4-year-old Sesame Street Muppet with autism.
These various resources help families create new routines, build flexibility, and cope with change challenges during turbulent times.
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How Sesame Streets Muppets Became Revolutionaries
Now celebrating its 50th year of broadcasting, Sesame Street remains committed to pushing the boundaries for social change.
Steve Merrill: Take me back to 1967, when Joan Ganz Cooney pitched the show. There was debate about whether kids could even learn from a TV show. What was she thinking?Rosemarie Truglio: Well, Sesame Street is a product of the civil rights movement. In the mid-1960s, Joan Ganz Cooney was a very young producer who was trying to level the playing field, trying to help all children get ready for schoolnot just the kids who had more advantages and may even have had an opportunity to attend preschool.
The only show before us was Mister Rogers, but his focus was very different. His focus was on the social-emotional skills. And Joan was really focusing on the academic skills. Later, when she determined that children can learn from television shows like Sesame Street, that it can have an educational impact, she started addressing what we call this whole-child, comprehensive school-readiness curriculum. Producers, writers, animators, musicians, directorsall working hand-in-hand with the educators to design curriculum that is appropriate for the target audience, which was 4-year-olds.
Merrill: Four-year-olds? I still kind of like it.
Merrill: Really? Laugh-In?
Merrill: Youve mentioned in other interviews that Grover is your favorite character. Why Grover? And what are kids supposed to learn from Grover?
Merrill: Wow. Thats big.
Move Over Miss Piggy: New Generation Of ‘muppets’ Take Over Bbc1 For Saturday Night Show
Now the Autistic Self Advocacy Network , an organisation run by and for autistic people, announced it had cut ties with Sesame Street after the childrens show partnered with Autism Speaks to make the Muppet the face of a public service campaign encouraging early screening and diagnosis of autism.
ASAN has accused Autism Speaks of using language of acceptance and understanding to push resources that further stigma and treat autistic people as burdens on our families.
It says that resource materials from Autism Speaks encourage parents to view autism as a terrible disease from which their child can get better.
I think part of why people feel so let down right now is that Sesame Street, as a show, is very, very personal to a lot of our members and a lot of people in the autistic community, said Julia Bascom, an autistic self-advocate and executive director of ASAN, explaining that many autistic people have relied on the show as a learning tool.
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Sesame Street Introduces Julia A Muppet With Autism
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Sesame Street will add Julia, a 4-year-old female muppet who has autism, to its cast next month as part of an expanding autism initiative.
The TV show rolled out the news of Julias arrival on its website and released a series of YouTube videos featuring her on Sunday. Julia, who loves to sing and can memorize lyrics better than her young peers, struggles with loud noises like sirens, which can cause her to become emotionally upset.
60 Minutes aired a segment about the first Julia episode on Sunday night, introducing her arrival on the show with a series of Tweets in the lead-up to the broadcast.
Sesame Street first introduced the character in a digital storybook released in the fall of 2015.
We wanted to demonstrate some of the characteristics of autism in a positive way, Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshops vice president of outreach and educational practices, said in a 2015 interview, after the characters unveiling, noting that creators made Julia a girl in part in order to break down myths and misconceptions around autism, such as that it only affects males.
The characters arrival on the show is part of a larger educational effort by Sesame Street. On Monday, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that puts out Sesame Street, announced that it was expanding its autism offerings, to include new videos, e-books and books, released in both English and Spanish.
With Leap To Hbo Big Bird’s Got A Brand
The character Julia makes her television debut April 10 on Sesame Street on various platforms where the show’s programs can be found, including PBS Kids, HBO and YouTube. She will initially appear in English and Spanish in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Mexico and will subsequently appear in more languages in countries throughout the world later in the year.
“It’s not like there is a typical example of an autistic child, but we do believe that Julia, we worked so carefully to make sure that she had certain characteristics that would allow children to identify with her,” Westin said. “It’s what Sesame does best, you know: Reaching children, looking at these things through their lens and building a greater sort of sense of commonality.”
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Meet Julia: ‘sesame Street’ To Debut Muppet Character With Autism
The creators of “Sesame Street” announced Sunday that the popular show would introduce a muppet named Julia who has autism.
The green-eyed, red-haired character was developed during years of consultation with families, organizations and experts within the autism community, Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of US Social Impact said.
Betancourt said one in 68 children in the US had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children. We’re modeling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share,” she said.
An example is in the first episode featuring Julia. She is having fun with her friends Abby and Elmo when Big Bird walks in. He wants to be Julia’s new friend, but she ignores him. He thinks she doesn’t like him, until Abby informs him “she does things just a little differently, in a Julia sort of way.”
Later, the children are playing a game of tag and Julia becomes distressed when a siren wails, covering her ears.
“She needs to take a break,” explains Big Bird’s human friend Alan calmly. Soon all is well and the group starts playing again.
The puppeteer who plays Julia, Stacey Gordon, has a son with autism and has worked as a therapist to children on the autism spectrum.
Autism Pride Day
Why The Team Behind Sesame Street Created A Character With Autism
The bravest new face on television is a Muppet that doesnt say much. But she speaks volumes about life on the spectrum
Before we get to the matters at handincluding the ways in which we humans judge one another and an energetic puppet with autism named Julialets consider the current value of a piece of imaginary real estate known as Sesame Street. Since its launch in 1969, the show has often been kids first step into the world beyond their living room rugs, the common cultural campfire for 95 percent of preschoolersabout 200 million Americanswho watched the show as children.
And it is a placean ingenious staging of reality. Here, they created a street and a community that closely resembles what kids experience, says Jeffrey D. Dunn, who arrived to run Sesame Workshop as CEO in 2014. Its not fantasy land, and its not a made-up, faraway place. He pauses. Thats one of the things that makes it so powerful.
For years the shows creators have been spicing up their alluring, hand-held curriculum of ABCs and 1,2,3s with lessons about life as it is. There has been standout content on marriage and death, on the families of those in the military, on hunger in America and kids with incarcerated parents, and there was an HIV-positive Muppet on the South African series.
How would it be possible to create a Sesame Street character that could bridge this span?
Autism. Whats autism?
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Support For Autism And Diversity
To better serve the Chinese American autism community, Sesame Workshop is partnering with Friends of … Children with Special Needs to launch Mandarin and Cantonese adaptations of the We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3 digital storybooks
See Amazing in All Children was developed in consultation with over 250 organizations and experts within the autism community. With 1 in 44 children diagnosed with autism, this initiative is designed to show that all childrenautistic and neurotypical alikeare amazing in their ways.
On a related note, researchers at the Yale Child Study Center released a study earlier this year that showed that puppets could attract and hold children’s attention with autism spectrum disorder . This insight raises the potential for developing more engaging therapies that strengthen social engagement and facilitate learning.
Sesame Workshop continues to expand the breadth of the See Amazing in All Children content library based on feedback from advisors and community members.
List Of Sesame Street Muppets
The Muppets are a group of puppet characters created by Jim Henson, many for the purpose of appearing on the children’s television program Sesame Street. Henson’s involvement in Sesame Street began when he and Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the creators of the show, met in the summer of 1968, at one of the show’s five three-day curriculum planning seminars in Boston. Author Christopher Finch reported that director Jon Stone, who had worked with Henson previously, felt that if they could not bring him on board, they should “make do without puppets”.
Henson was initially reluctant but agreed to join Sesame Street in support of its social goals. He also agreed to waive his performance fee for full ownership of the Sesame Street Muppets and to split any revenue they generated with the Children’s Television Workshop , the series’ non-profit producer. The Muppets were a crucial part of the show’s popularity and it brought Henson national attention. The Muppet segments of the show were popular since its premiere, and more Muppets were added during the first few seasons. The Muppets were effective teaching tools because children easily recognized them, they were predictable, and they appealed to adults and older siblings.
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