"Sesame Street" debuts autistic character Julia

New “Sesame Street” character Julia debuted on the show Monday, and the adorable 4-year-old is the first muppet to be on the autism spectrum. 

Monday’s episode is called “Meet Julia,” and though Julia has appeared online and in “Sesame Street” books, this was the first time she appeared on the show. 

Julia’s 10-minute debut introduces the new character playing with her friends, including Elmo. The show, which has been on air for nearly 50 years, did extensive research and worked with autism organizations to decide how to portray Julia. 

On the show, Big Bird introduces himself to Julia and is confused when she doesn’t respond. 

“In the show itself, it’s been really great to see her movements and her way of communication respected,” Julia Bascom, deputy executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, told “60 Minutes” recently. “Julia flaps and jumps when she’s happy.”  

Elmo told Lesley Stahl, “We really like Julia. She’s really special to us, Miss Lesley.”

As for Julia? She told Stahl of her new friends, “Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.”

You can watch the episode below. 

Sesame Street: Meet Julia (Full Clip | 10 Min) by Sesame Street on YouTube
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