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Meet Julia: The Sesame Street Muppet Everyone Loves

Posted on August 3, 2019 by Ann

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Julia is a four-year-old girl with autism. Her mom, Elena, is an art teacher and her dad, Daniel, is an EMT who plays the saxophone. She also has a neurotypical big brother, Samuel, and a dog, Rose. She is friends with Elmo and Abby.

Meet Julia

In Meet Julia Big Bird meets Julia for the first time. At first, Big Bird thinks that Julia didn’t like him very much but he soon learns that she just does things a little differently in a Julia sort of way. He realises that while they are different, they also have a lot in common and they can all be friends.

The Forgotten 8 wrote: “For Julia”. What an important statement explaining that autism can be different for some. I wish there was a Julia on TV when I was younger. I’d understand some things even about myself a lot sooner.

I Love My Family Song with Julia’s Family

Julia’s out with her family and she is smiling with joy because she loves her family so much.

berrypie11 wrote: I think this is really adorable, and the song is super catchy! I’m so glad Sesame Street is bringing positivity to autism. I may not have first hand experience with it, but I’m happy that so many kids and even adults have a character like Julia to relate to.

Starfish Hug

Julia doesn’t like big hugs but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel for her friends. In Starfish Hug, Abby is feeling sad so Julia and Sam cheer her up with a special kind of hug.

amber cormeny wrote: There is this myth going around that people on the spectrum, such as myself, don’t have empathy. Sesame decided to show that Julia does have empathy, and that makes me so happy! And while I personally love regular hugs, not everyone on the spectrum does, so I appreciate that Sesame street shows us alternative ways to hug. It’s amazing that us adults can still learn from this awesome show.

Julia’s family are getting ready to go to her dad’s saxophone performance at Hooper’s store. Watch this video for heartwarming comedy chaos.

Rachel A wrote: I love this. It made me cry happy tears when Julia gave her daddy the picture and he loved it so much. I have autism too and I have the best daddy in the world! It’s hard to explain how much it means to see myself through Julia on Sesame Street <3 When I was a little girl doctors didn’t believe that little girls have autism unless it was very obvious. So, I was simply thought of as weird or doing the wrong thing. My parents loved me for exactly who I was but they felt alone sometimes and people judged them too. Now, through the awareness that programs like Sesame Street is brining into homes, people can see that this is a family.  They’re different but they’re not less and different doesn’t make them bad.

Julia, Rosita and Grover Play Freeze Dance

Watch how the kids find ways to play together despite their differences.

Mary Murphy wrote: These children are better at accommodating people than most adults I know in real life.

About Julia

Julia first appeared on the show April 10, 2017 as part of Sesame Workshop’s autism awareness initiative, “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children”. Julia’s puppeteer is Stacey Gordon who has a child with high-functioning autism. One of the experts consulted to create Julia is Julia Bascom, who is the President of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN).


[Update 7 August 2019: We understand that Autism Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has announced its decision to end its partnership with Sesame Street and there are some negative views towards Sesame Workshop and Julia as a result.

Just to provide our readers with a bit of background on this matter:

1. On 21 October 2015, ASAN announced their partnership with Sesame Workshop in the initiative “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” (“See Amazing”). This initiative was considered to have a widespread positive impact

2. On 23 July 2019, Ad Council (an American nonprofit organisation) released two new Public Service Announcements (PSAs). These arose from a partnership among Ad Council, Sesame Workshop and the controversial group Autism Speaks.

3. On 5 August, ASAN announced the end of their partnership with Sesame Street because of Sesame Street’s partnership with Autism Speaks. 

ASAN wrote on their website:

“The See Amazing initiative was groundbreaking because it offered an alternative to these stories. It let families know that their autistic children are amazing, can live happy lives, and are deserving of love. Now, Sesame Street has decided to let See Amazing become just another vehicle for Autism Speaks to spread the same old toxic ideas.”

We would like to clarify the following: 

1. The writer was unaware of the PSAs at the time this post was published on 3 August 2019.

2. The post does NOT reflect All In’s official position with reference to Sesame Street’s association with Autism Speaks. 

3. The videos featured in this post were created earlier under See Amazing initiative. They were not created in partnership with Autism Speaks.”]

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