Children’s television show Sesame Street has debuted its first character with autism, Julia, in a bid to raise greater awareness of the common condition.
ALEX HEINKE reports.
The red-haired, green-eyed character was introduced on Wednesday as part of the launch of the show’s new online program.
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Appearing alongside all-time favourites Elmo and Abby, Julia features in a interactive storybook and various online resources, made to educate children on ways to respond to common behaviours associated with autism spectrum disorder.
“The brain of a person with autism works differently, and that can make it hard to talk, listen, understand, play and learn in the same way that others do,”the site explains.
“It’s OK to be curious about people different from you.”
The initiative also provides tips for parents of children with autism and advice for how people in the wider community can approach caretakers.