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This image released by Sesame Workshop shows Julia, a new autistic muppet character debuting on the 47th Season of "Sesame Street," on April 10, 2017, on both PBS and HBO. (Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP)

'Sesame Street' introduced its first Muppet with autism today


After announcing her arrival last month, "Sesame Street" debuted Julia, the first new Muppet in years and the first one with autism.

Her arrival on the show was praised by advocates as a historic step, since teaching children about autism at a young age made it more likely that children would be accepting of others with autism.

"Sesame Street" released Julia's debut on YouTube where it could be watched for free.

Sesame Street: Meet Julia (Full Clip | 10 Min)

WATCH | Here's Julia's debut.

Julia is the first new 'Sesame Street' Muppet in a decade and also the first with autism

WATCH | Here's a refresher on why Julia is a big deal to "Sesame Street" fans and autism advocates.

In the debut, Julia plays a game with other Muppets and is tasked with finding objects shaped like certain geometric shapes.

"You're lucky," Abby tells Grover. "You have Julia on your team, and she is really good at finding shapes!"

Julia also displays other symptoms common to children with autism. She's shy, she sometimes repeats other characters' dialogue, and it is often hard to get her attention. 

The Amazing Song

WATCH | Like most major developments in "Sesame Street," the show introduced its discussion of autism with a song. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control report one in 68 American children have autism.

Sesame Street worked with 14 different autism groups to determine how Julia should be portrayed.

"She's one of the kids, she's one of the gang," said Rose Jochum, director of internal initiatives at the Autism Society of America. Jochum loved that Julia was a gifted artist on the show, saying it modeled the "wonderful gifts" autism sometimes brings.

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