Sesame Street has released its first clips of a new Muppet character — Julia, a 4-year-old with autism.
Having existed for more than a year in print and digital offerings as part of Sesame Workshop’s “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” initiative, this marks the character’s live-action debut.
In the first clip embedded below, Big Bird isn’t sure what to make of Julia when he first meets her, seeing as she doesn’t seem to acknowledge him and his greeting. “She does things just a little differently, in a Julia sort of way,” the character of Abby explains to her fine-feathered friend.
Stacy Gordon — a veteran puppeteer whose son is on the autism spectrum and who has worked as a therapist to youngsters on the spectrum — is among those helping bring Julia to life. “It is so much fun to be on set with everyone, and get to play up all the positive things I’ve seen with the kids that I’ve worked with,” Gordon told the Associated Press. “At the same time, I come at this with a reverence. I don’t want to let the autism community down.”
Julia’s first episode, “Meet Julia,” airs Monday, April 10 on HBO; Sesame Street has also set up a playlist of related videos.