The following is a script from "New Kid on the Street," which aired on March 19, 2017. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Shari Finkelstein, producer. Nieves Zuberbuhler, associate producer. There are not many shows on television that deserve to be called true American institutions - but one of them is surely "Sesame Street."
In a few weeks, Sesame Street -- which now airs on HBO as well as its longtime home on PBS -- will take on its latest challenge: introducing a new kid on the street. A Muppet named Julia, who has autism.
Producer Kendra's son has autism and she is very excited to see that Sesame Street is including something that she and so many other parents and families experience!
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Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro says: "It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism. There is an expression that goes, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
“Sesame Street” has always based its characters and content on extensive research. They regularly bring in educators and child psychologists. In the case of Julia, they also worked with autism organizations to decide which characteristics she should have and how best to normalize autism for all children.