( featured image stolen from the LA Times )
I feel like everyone has this dream at some point in their lives that they want to make a difference and change lives. I also think that most of us eventually realize that while we can touch and change those around us, on a grand scale, we aren’t likely to change to the world. Maybe a little bit morbid and glass half empty, but it is true. I am not likely to change thousands and thousands of lives in my day to day goings on.
My friend, however, is doing what we all dream of being able to do.
Sesame Street introduced a new character in 2015, named Julia. She is a little girl who has autism. She was introduced in their online program, and the entire concept really took off. So, Sesame moved on to bigger and better things. They designed a muppet and added her to the show. They are going to give children all over the world an opportunity to be introduced to autism. Now, Julia will obviously not be able to show the entire spectrum, but she will show some aspects of it. She will help teach children love, acceptance, patience, understanding. She will help show children that sometimes, when we don’t understand someone’s actions or responses, we just need to take the time to get to know them and learn about them and their background.
Sesame has an amazing team of puppeteers; they sort of have to. And, in my opinion, they hit gold with their choice of puppeteer for Julia. They have an amazing lady, Stacey Gordon, bringing Julia to the life on the show. She even has a unique perspective on the character, as she has a son with autism. A son who is amazingly witty and kind, and who is so thrilled for Julia to join the kids on Sesame Street.
I am really excited for this development. I am excited to see how it helps, how it changes lives, how incredible this thing they are all doing is going to turn out. Because, in the long run, if it makes life for ONE autistic child better, then it is worth everything put into it.
From the bottom of my heart, I am excited for this, I am thankful for this, and I am amazed by this.
These three videos take approximately 15 minutes to view in total, and they are completely worth the viewing.
This one gives an overview on introducing Julia and her background.
60 minutes snippet
This one includes an interview with the puppeteer and her son.
60 minutes overtime
And this one is all the really cool design and development aspects of making Julia.
Sesame Street Making Of