About a year ago, I wrote about Julia, a new Muppet on Sesame Street, who is on the autism spectrum. The autism initiative included a web site (check it out; it’s got incredible videos and other assets: sesamestreet.org/autism) and a storybook, We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3. I wrote the storybook, basing many of Julia’s characteristics on my amazing son, who has autism. Especially her love for music and singing—music fills our house every day. And I gave the new muppet a form of my daughter’s middle name, as an homage to the amazing siblings in families like ours.
The response to Julia was huge. As a result, Julia is making her debut as an actual 3-D Muppet (as was announced on 60 Minutes, 3/19/17)—and she is absolutely adorable. The script was written by Chrissy Ferraro. It’s true to life (in a Muppet-y kind of way!) and fun. The performer, Stacey Gordon (herself the mother of a son with autism), is perfect. As an author, I have to say that there’s nothing more thrilling than watching a character you wrote come to life. Of all the things I’ve done in my many years at Sesame Workshop, this is the one I’m proudest of. It was a labor of love for me, and for so many others in the remarkable team that has brought Julia to life. I hope Julia makes many friends and helps grow an atmosphere of respect and acceptance for everyone.