Transcript for 'Sesame Street' Introduces 1st Muppet With Autism
index," Elmo is getting a new friend. "Sesame street" is introducing Julia, the first muppet with autism. Creator say they hope Julia will help increase understanding among parents and children. ABC's John donvan has more. ? Sunny days ? keeping the clouds away ? Reporter: The street, yes, this street is getting this new face, Julia, with hair of Orange, eyes of green and what you cannot see right off with autism. And she has some behaviors like not looking at you directly in the eye, she's a little more sensitive to noises and lights, but when she comes together with Abby and Elmo she shares not only these challenges but what she shares in common. Reporter: Of course, introducing Julia, a girl with autism who can speak and not all can, into "Sesame street's" digital programming and into this storybook called "We're amazing, 1, 2, 3" well in keeping with the TV show's mission, different but the same, old news on "Sesame street," a show that as it happens a lot of kids with autism have always loved to watch. These "Sesame street" campaign is really helping them see that they're not alone and for kids that don't have autism and their family, they are learning about what autism is and how kids with autism are not that dissimilar to themselves. Reporter: Which is important because sad to say, bullying is so common. Kids on the awe Tim spectrum get bullied five times more often so it's really important that we have characters like Julia so children can learn to be accepting and understanding of one another. Reporter: It's notable that "Sesame street" picked a girl for this character. Since girls with autism are outnumbered roughly 4 to 1 by boys and often their challenges get less attention. This muppet may help change that and if she does a few years from now we'll be thinking about Julia the girl with autism as just plain Julia, part of the gang on "Sesame street." For "Good morning America," John donvan, ABC news, Washington. And joining me now to talk about what awe children can learn from the newest resident of "Sesame street," Rachel Simmons author of "Odd girl out" and co-founder of girls lead leadership. Rachel, this is something for children to learn from and parents, educators. What are the lessons here. When "Sesame street" introduces a new character they're also sending a message and say we've got to focus on these issues and so empathy is going to be a big benefit here. Kids are going to think about the feelings of others, social skills, I mean, the fact is autistic kids put out different cues and they receive cues differently so, for example, if somebody doesn't make eye contact with you, that doesn't mean they don't want to be your friend. It just means they're different and then finally, kids are going to learn to respect difference like which kid doesn't need to know the world doesn't revolve around them. That's way lesson every kid needs to learn over and over again. A study recent out, most kids, most children value achievement over any kind of concern for others, empathy like you're talking about so this should put a dent in that. Yeah, I think so. I think our priorities are out of whack and "Sesame street" is paying attention to that. When kids are only thinking about their own happiness it will affect them in all domains. Any kid learning to be kinder is going to see that across all areas of life. As we heard in John's piece, autism is almost five types more common in boys than it is in girls yet "Sesame street" show chose to make the child with autism a girl. Yes, super interesting. I mean I think "Sesame street" has been building up their stable of female characters for awhile so we need more girls but at the same time this is a win for parents of girls with autism because they'll raise awareness in the just for this but the girls struggling with it. Rachel sim mojs, thanks for joining us.
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