‘Sesame Street,’ ‘Power Rangers’ Could Help Dispel Autism Stereotypes 


Text to Speech

"Sesame Street" will introduce Julia, left, a red-haired muppet who is the show's first character with autism, this month. (Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop)

On a sunny day on Sesame Street, Abby Cadabby asks her new neighbor Julia if she wants to play a game. Julia, a red-headed Muppet in a pink smock, doesn’t answer at first. Instead, she stares straight ahead as she swings, then moves to the grass to play with her stuffed bunny, Fluffster. Abby, pouting and confused, asks Elmo why Julia doesn’t like her very much. “Julia sometimes does things differently because Julia has autism,” Elmo explains. “Abby can ask Julia to play again. Abby could use fewer words and wait a little bit. That usually works for Elmo.” A few beats later, the three Muppets are playing the game I spy, which Julia wins in short order.
“Sesame Street” producers have said they created Julia to help explain autism spectrum disorder to millions of viewers and present accurate portrayals of the condition on screen, countering decades of what critics have said are stereotypical depictions. Many households nationwide with family members on the spectrum are hoping Julia, along with a Power Ranger who has autism that was just revealed in a new movie, will change the way next generations of children view autism.
Source: 'Sesame Street,' 'Power Rangers' Could Help Dispel Autism Stereotypes - Disability Scoop

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The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina’s efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology.
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