WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Sesame Street has been, for decades, on the forefront of teaching acceptance and diversity.
When it was announced Sesame Street would have a new character, organizations like AutismUp and other advocacy groups were excited to learn that Julia would have autism. Now they're hoping the recurrence of this role will help parents and kids learn more about autism.
"Adding Julia to the mix of diverse characters just makes for an even more accurate portrayal of what kids and families, neighborhoods and schools are like," said Rachel Rosner, of AutismUp.
The newest Muppet, Julia, displays many relatable characteristics for children on the spectrum. Local families dealing with autism hope the show portrays her in a way that will become a teaching tool, even if families don't know someone with autism.
"Even a person with a disability is perfectly capable of being a participant in the community, in school, having friends," said Rosner.
1 in 68 children is diagnosed as being on the spectrum, and Julia could prove to be especially important for advocacy groups throughout the country.
"It brings even more awareness and light to organizations like AutismUp so that we can continue to provide the support and programs that we do," said Rosner.
Julia's first on-air debut will be April 10. She is expected to be a recurring character.