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Sesame Street's Julia Attended The Macy's Parade Prepared for Sensory Overload

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“Sesame Street’s” float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade caught the attention of people on the autism spectrum and their families. Julia, Sesame’s Street first autistic character, participated in the float, and she wore noise-canceling headphones.

Noise-canceling or noise-muffling headphones help people on the autism spectrum handle sensory overload. As “Sesame Street” explained, “With the help of her friend Rosita and the comfort of her noise-canceling headphones, Julia is ready for a fun and festive day in NYC!”

Representation matters. People in the autism community shared how happy they were to see Julia’s character wearing noise-canceling headphones and what that representation meant to them.

“My autistic daughter saw Julia on the Sesame Street float and said, ‘There’s Julia wearing her headphones because she’s autistic,’” one Twitter user shared. “Seeing others like her represented in society is so important for my girl, it makes her feel included and loved.”

In 2015, Sesame Workshop launched Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, an online initiative introducing Julia as a digital character in a storybook called “We’re Amazing, 1,2,3.” Sesame Workshop spent five years consulting with 250 organizations and experts within the autism community.

“For years, families of children with autism have asked us to address the issue. We heard a call to use our expertise and characters to build a bridge between the autism and neurotypical communities,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, SVP of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop said in a press release.

Julia made her on-air debut in April 2017 and has since been a regular character on the show.

Banner image via twitter

Originally published: November 22, 2018
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