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October 22, 2015

Sesame Street debuts first character with autism in #SeeAmazing initiative

Sesame Street Autism
10222015_SesameStAutism Sesame Workshop/Facebook

Sesame Workshop introduced Julia, its first character with autism.

Sesame Street on Wednesday launched a new initiative, Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, in which the brand introduced its first character with autism.

The project aims to help families and children ages 2 to 5 build an understanding and awareness around autism.

"Meet Julia, Elmo and Abby Cadabby's new friend," Sesame Workshop said in a Facebook post announcing the new character. 

"Julia has autism. In our new storybook, 'We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3' – they learn how to play together, appreciate each other's differences, and celebrate their commonalities!"

The new website offers interactive tools, videos and an online resource center to help build an understanding around autism.

"Families with autistic children tend to gravitate toward digital content, which is why we created Julia digitally," executive vice president of global impacts and philanthropy, Sherrie Westin, told PEOPLE. "We want parents and children to understand that autism isn't an uncomfortable topic."

In addition to the storybook, Sesame Street created a video to celebrate the uniqueness of each and every child. 

See "The Amazing Song" video below:

In 2010, the kids’ show "Arthur" introduced a character with Asperger’s syndrome named Carl.