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Sesame Street introduces its first character with autism

There’s a new kid on the block over at Sesame Street, and she’s got something in common with 1 in 68 kids in America. Julia the Muppet has autism.

The preschooler joins up with Elmo, Abby Cadabby and the gang as part of a new Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative, a new initiative on — you guessed — autism.

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The company behind the popular PBS show promises to “provide educational resources and tools to help families, teachers, and caregivers across the country overcome common challenges for children with autism such as washing hands, brushing teeth, going to the supermarket, and bedtime routines.” In a press release from Sesame Workshop, the project is described as an attempt to “de-stigmatize autism.”

Considering the CDC now estimates that 1 in 68 kids is somewhere on the autism spectrum, the initiative is getting a big thumbs-up on Twitter. In fact, many parents — and folks on the autism spectrum — have responded that they wish they’d had this earlier: 

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But don’t expect to see Julia on your TV set anytime soon. See Amazing is a digital initiative, meaning there’s an iPad app, a “responsive” website (designed with adaptations, such as larger buttons, audio-off options and the ability for children to customize content), and there will be digital and printed storybooks with Julia front and center.

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Oh, and then there’s your kids’ new favorite song:

What do you think of Julia?

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