Sesame Street introducing Julia, a Muppet with autism

Sesame Street

Abby tells Grover, "You're lucky".

With that, they skedaddle, an exit that calls for the six Muppeteers squatted out of sight below them to scramble accordingly.

Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, happens to be the mother of an autistic son.

In creating the character, Ferraro and the show's other writers consulted with autism advocacy organizations in order to ensure they were properly and respectfully portraying the condition.

But now Julia has been brought to life in fine Muppet fettle.

Sesame Street will air the special episode "Meet Julia" Monday, April 10 on HBO and PBS KIDS.

Here are some videos of Julia to watch with your kids.

Today, 1 in 45 children have autism in the United States, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey said.

"As the parent of a child with autism, I wished that it had come out years before, when my own child was at the "Sesame Street" age".

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The show's creators hope the new character will help children better understand playmates who have autism, which is affecting more and more American kids.

Julia is at the heart of this effort.

Julia is a great singer and can remember all the words to many songs. She wears pajamas to school every day, and in many ways she's just like every other child in her third-grade class. It's a very personal job for Gordon, whose son has autism.

Lesley Stahl visited the "Sesame Street" sound stage in Queens and shares the clip of Julia's debut on the series.

"And then it turns into a game where they're all jumping like her".

In the introductory segment, Julia is having fun with Abby and Elmo when Big Bird walks up. He thinks she doesn't like him.

The character of Big Bird talked to Stahl about his first interaction with Julia in which she ignored him. The muppet even has different sets of eyes, so that she can close them when she needs time to calm down, and a set of arms that can flap wildly if she does get overwhelmed. But when a siren wails, she covers her ears and looks stricken. Soon, all is well and play resumes.

"It was a very easy way to show that with a very slight accommodation they can meet her where she is", said Ferraro. She said the creation of an autistic muppet is "huge".

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