There's someone new in the neighborhood on "Sesame Street." And with April being Autism Awareness Month, she is arriving at just the right time.
One in 68 children in the United States is on the Autism Spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
After nearly a half century on television, Sesame Street continues its legacy of teaching and inspiring children across the world.
“Julia is going to do what Dustin Hoffman did in 'Rain Man' 30 years ago,” said Tony Osborne, executive director of Autism Services of SWLA.
He’s thrilled to see Julia grace the screen.
The red-haired pre-schooler started as a character in the Sesame Street books and digital series in 2015 - a part of the "See Amazing in All Children" initiative.
“It’s going to give kids some great insight into how kids react to verbal and non-verbal cues,” said Osborne. “It’s impressive; you see Julia flapping her hands when she gets excited about things; you listen to the vocabulary she uses to articulate how she feels. It’s very obvious the producers and writers have done a thorough job.”
The puppeteer’s son is also has autism, in order to perfect the movements and behaviors of a child on the spectrum.
“It’s going to expose an entire generation of kids to autism and what it means to be inclusive of those who may operate a little differently in the world around them," Osborne said.
Click HERE to learn more about Autism Services of SWLA.
Click HERE to learn about the Autism Society of SWLA.