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'Sesame Street's' latest muppet has autism. Here's how she'll combat stigmas
Sesame Street" has welcomed a new member named Julia, a girl with autism who the organization hopes, along with other initiatives, can educate people on autism. - photo by Payton Davis
A new muppet is headed to Sesame Street and the fact she "does things a little differently" can hopefully reduce the stigma of autism, according to USA Today.

Sesame Workshop, an educational organization behind "Sesame Street," announced Wednesday that Julia is the first muppet with autism and will appear in books and a new app as part of the "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" campaign, Carly Mallenbaum wrote for USA Today.

Ree Hines wrote for Today that Julia "offers children a relatable character they can understand."

Julia's purpose also addresses common issues for kids with autism, Jeanette Betancourt, the senior vice president of community and family engagement at Sesame Workshop, told Hines.

"Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied," Betancourt told Hines. "And with one in 68 children having autism, that's a lot of bullying. Our goal is to bring forth what all children share in common, not their differences. Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group."

A story on the "Sesame Street" website called "We're Amazing 1, 2, 3," released as part of the initiative, chronicles Julia meeting Elmo and the gang, Justin Moyer wrote for The Washington Post.

In the story, Elmo explains why Julia might behave "in unexpected ways," Moyer reported.

Elmos daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism, Elmo says in the story. So she does things a little differently. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times.

According to Mallenbaum, "Sesame Street" also shared "The Amazing Song" with the announcement. With lines like "when you just look closer, you'll see amazingness show through," it's similar to Julia's creation in encouraging kids to see the best in their peers.

"Sesame Street's" autism initiative resources are available at
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