Sesame Street has recently introduced Julia, the newest addition to the Muppet family. Julia is Sesame Street‘s first autistic Muppet.
The PBS show reportedly took five years to build Julia’s character through consultations with autism experts in order to make her character as authentic as possible. Her character doesn’t always make eye contact with other characters who are interacting with her. Sometimes she doesn’t respond, and she is less verbal in comparison to the rest of the characters.
“What brought this to light was really the incidence of autism here and the frequency,” Sesame Workshop’s senior vice-president of U.S. social impact, Jeanette Betancourt, told the CBC.
Julia made her Sesame Street debut online in 2016, and recently made her first appearance on television on Monday. Watch a clip of Julia’s character below.