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In 2017, Sesame Street introduced a new character, Julia, a yellow Muppet preschooler who has autism. Julia exhibits behaviors that are associated with people who have an autism spectrum diagnosis, such as difficulty maintaining eye contact and repetitive speech.

The children’s program has always featured a diverse cast of Muppet and human characters to represent the neighborhood’s different ethnic, racial, age, gender, and monster groups, and its commitment to portraying a complex and realistic community extends to characters who experience medical differences. Linda, a deaf librarian; Tarah, a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta who uses a wheelchair; and Kami, a Muppet with HIV, show young viewers that people with disabilities or health challenges are part of everyone’s neighborhoods.

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