A unique new resident has set up shop on Sesame Street.
Are you ready to meet Julia?
Introduced via a digital storybook, Julia is the first-ever Autistic character to be featured on the long-running children’s program.
She’s part of an initiative to bring awareness to the topic of Autism.
In the aforementioned book, whose cover is featured above, Elmo explains to his pal on the playground why their new friend Julia is a little different.
"Elmo's daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism," the beloved red critter says.
"So she does things a little differently. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times."
Sesame Street has partnered with organizations such as Autism Speaks and the Autism Self-Advocacy Network to ensure that the materials presented by the brand are educational, respectful and positive about Autism.
"More than 20 years ago, my beautiful son received the diagnosis of Autism, and my world changed instantly and profoundly," says author Leslie Kimmelman in a letter.
"I knew nothing about Autism, and it seemed that those around me - even the professionals - didn’t know much either. Today, happily, that has changed.
"There’s greater awareness, and there has been much progress understanding autism. But it’s still a puzzle, and every child is affected differently.
"You’ve probably heard the saying 'if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.' So what’s the most important thing for people to know?
"We’re all different in some way or another - that’s what makes the world an interesting place. And equally, all of us in our own way are amazing!"
According to the latest statistics, one out of every 68 children in the United States has a type of of Autism.
Kudos to Sesame Street for bringing attention to this important issue.