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’Sesame Street’ to Reveal New Episode Starring Julia, New Resources to Honor Autism Acceptance Day

April 15, 2020
Source: ABC News

In celebration, "Sesame Street" is highlighting how all children are amazing.

In honor of Autism Acceptance Day, "Sesame Street" is highlighting how all children are amazing with new resources for families, and brand new content featuring Julia and the special relationship she shares with her brother Samuel.

Julia, the first Muppet with autism to appear on the show, made her debut on "Sesame Street" in 2017. Autism currently affects about one in 54 children in the U.S. and their families.

"You’ll see those differences being celebrated, but you also see the commonalities that children and families share with each other -- especially siblings," Kama Einhorn, senior content manager at Sesame Street Workshop told "Good Morning America," adding that "superheroes" is the theme of the new content.

"Siblings of children with autism are often the unsung superheroes in a family," Einhorn said. "You see Samuel in action, but you see a range of who he is. He’s not just this perfect helper. He has a life and he has conflicts, but you also see him being an extraordinary support to Julia, having a really important role in the family. . .as everyone in the family It does, including the family dog, Rose."

While developing this project, "Sesame Street" heard from mothers and fathers of children with autism.

The resources, which include videos and activities featuring 4-year-old Julia, are available for free in English and Spanish.

The Julia-focused episode, "Fluffster Kerfuffle," premieres April 6. It addresses learning to play well together, which sometimes means something a little different for Julia.

"You’ll see some beautiful moments between Julia and her family," Einhorn said.

Andrea Cody, senior project manager at Sesame Street Workshop, said the brand has shifted from Autism Awareness Day to Autism Acceptance Day as a direct response to the autism community.

"We’re excited to move it forward past just understanding and really into the acceptance phase," Cody told "[Good Morning America.]"

The episode features animations where Julia’s drawings are brought to life and were created in partnership with Exceptional Minds -- a non-profit digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum. The animations were done by adult artists with autism, Cody said.

"It’s really engaging to see a brother and sister tell the story together and what’s really, really special," said Cody.

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