The Sesame Street crew welcomed a new character to the family.
Julia has orange hair, bright green eyes, and autism, and she was introduced in the launch of a new online Sesame Street Workshop initiative called Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.
The adorable accompanying video points out children's commonalities, rather than their differences.
"Children with autism are five times more likely to get bullied," senior vice president of U.S. social impact, Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, told People. "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."
Also included is a storybook titled We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3!, in which Elmo helps a friend understand Julia during a playdate. The initiative also includes other videos, interactive cards to help children complete tasks such as crossing the street and brushing teeth, plus social-media prompts to share ideas and stories using the hashtag #seeamazing.
This story is part of our Next America: Early Childhood project, which is supported by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation.