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Julia muppet Credit: Sesame Workshop

Credit: Sesame Workshop

Julia, a little girl Muppet, has been in “Sesame Street’s” online series since 2015, however she’s finally making her TV debut on HBO and PBS in April.

The show’s creators have a goal to help children better understand playmates who have autism, which affects millions of American children. Children with autism will also now have a Muppet that they can better identify with.

In Julia’s first episode, she is introduced to Big Bird but is hesitant to shake his hand. Big Bird becomes nervous that Julia doesn’t like him, however Elmo explains that Julia has autism so she “does things a little differently.”

Julia’s designers were eager to use the new Muppet to express issues kids with autism often deal with, without turning her into some kind of standard model for everyone with the disorder.

“It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism,” writer Christine Ferraro told “60 Minutes.” “There’s a saying that if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

Julia’s puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, has a son with autism. She wishes Julia had been around years ago when he was “Sesame Street” age.

“Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviors through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened,” Gordon told “60 Minutes.” “And [they] would have known that he plays in a different way, and that that’s okay.”

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