'Sesame Street' welcomes Julia, new character with autism

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'Sesame Street' welcomes Julia, new character with autism

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Zach Hyman/AP
This image released by Sesame Workshop shows Julia, a new autistic muppet character debuting on the 47th Season of "Sesame Street," on April 10, 2017, on both PBS and HBO. (Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP)

A character with autism is joining Elmo, Big Bird and the other familiar faces on "Sesame Street."

The iconic children's show, which airs on PBS and HBO, will introduce a new Muppet, Julia, to TV audiences April 10, according to The Associated Press.

Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes" offered a closer look at Julia, who has appeared online and in print as part of Sesame Workshop's "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" initiative since 2015.

"It's important for kids without autism to see what autism can look like," Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, who has a son with autism, told "60 Minutes."

Host Lesley Stahl met Julia and spoke to Elmo and Big Bird about their new friend.

"Hi, Julia," Stahl said to the red-headed Muppet, who remained quiet – the same reaction she'll have when meeting Big Bird in her upcoming debut episode.

"I thought that maybe she didn't like me," Big Bird told Stahl.

"Yeah, but you know, we had to explain to Big Bird that Julia likes Big Bird – it's just that Julia has autism, so sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things," Elmo said.

Julia also will struggle with loud noises and make up a game with her new friends.

 "They decide to play tag together, but Julia's so excited that she's jumping up and down," writer Christine Ferraro told Stahl. "That's a thing that can be typical of some kids with autism. And then it turns into a game where they're all jumping like her. So it was a very easy way to show that with a very slight accommodation, they can meet her where she is." 

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