Sesame Street’s First Autistic Muppet

Sesame Streets First Autistic Muppet

Matt Brown, Reporter

Sesame Street first debuted November 10, 1969.  Throughout the show’s history, it has evolved to reflect the changes in American culture and the audience’s viewing habits. A new Muppet, known as Julia, was introduced March 19th, with her own episode. Her other Muppet friends talked about her mental handicap and what she did differently from other children. She tended to stay secluded from the rest of the groups of people, and she has a fondness for a stuffed -toy rabbit. Elmo establishes that she isn’t any different from the other kids, but she does tend to do things differently.

This is a different step for the Sesame Street company, as they regularly have guest stars who have mental and physical handicaps, but this is their first time having a Muppet with a mental disability. The rest of the Sesame Street gang do their best to involve her in activities with them, and she normally reluctantly agrees.

Some notable traits about Julia are that she likes to be distant from other Muppets, that is, until they ask her to join them, and she always plays with her toy rabbit, and can’t stand being away from it. As shy as she is, it doesn’t take much for the rest of the crew to involve her in their activities.

The reason the Sesame Street company did this is so they can teach little kids to accept those around them, no matter how they act. Obviously, kids at this age don’t know they have autism or know what it does to them, so the fact the Sesame Street Company is conveying the message that all kids should be accepted gives an all-time high parental approval rate. Kids are learning how to accept one another and they’re having fun while learning.