The character made her debut on a clip on 60 Minutes, a news magazine show on CBS News. The on-air introduction of Julia is part of a five-year research effort dubbed "See Amazing in All Children" by producer Sesame Workshop to address the neurological condition that affects an estimated one out of every 68 children.
Sesame Street has announced the latest and exciting addition to their cast!
A couple of years ago, Sesame Street took a major step toward reaching out to even more children by introducing a character named Julia, a Muppet meant to represent an autistic child.
The creators of Sesame Street revealed the new character in an interview with 60 minutes, noting that Julia will appear alongside Elmo and Abby. "How do we talk about autism?,'" one of the show's writers, Christine Ferraro, told "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.
"I thought that maybe she didn't like me", Big Bird said. When it was decided she'd be joining the physical world, puppeteer Stacey Gordon was hired to bring her to life.
But it is later explained to them that "she just does things a little differently - in a Julia sort of way".More news: Somali pirates release oil tanker hostages
"Julia is an unbelievable little character", said Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice preside of Sesame Workshop, according to APTN. Since it is a spectrum disorder, Goring says, no two cases of autism look exactly the same. Julia's online presence was a huge success, and once fans were introduced to Julia, they quickly called for her to be seen on television, as well.
The show also hopes to make Julia a reoccurring character, Ferraro said. When she's excited, she flaps her arms around, and loud noises like sirens startle her and require a break from playtime. Gordon told CBS she used experiences she had with her own son to accurately portray the character.
'There is an expression that goes, "If you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism,"' Ferraro told Stahl.
"We had to explain to Big Bird that Julia likes Big Bird". Other details included making sure Julia had a short haircut that would not get in her eyes or mouth, and clothes free of distracting bows and buttons.
Sesame Street, which has been on the air since 1969, and is broadcast in 20 countries, has long used its platform to promote positive messages.
'I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism, ' she added.