So Julia is Making the Leap to TV Sesame Street…. 

….but not until next month. Perhaps us autistic adults can give some insights and gentle correction to upcoming mistakes I’m sure Sesame Street will make with Julia.

If you don’t know, Julia is an autistic Muppet being introduced to Sesame Street. So far, that is her major trait. Hopefully, her autism will not separate her too much from the other characters. It seems to look promising, since they are reportedly welcoming her into the fold. I’m a little concerned, though, on how Julia will be portrayed. Will her autism be her defining trait, as it often is of many shows’ neurotypical writing? Will she be looked on as less in neurotypical eyes?

The best-case scenario is as regular people who are just a little different. Let her participate in adventures. Let her experience life in groups. Give her some interests. Have her appear often and  Flesh out her character. Autism is not the only thing unique about Julia, if you do it right.

There are many well-intentioned disabled or neurodivergent characters who fall flat, and even a few in unexpected places who would actually do well in reality. Of course, I think the key to a good portrayal in neurodiversity or disability (which are often treated the same by a conformist society) is a good dose of reality, inclusion and fleshing out. So many autistic characters are stymied by stereotypes that it really is tragic that one must fit this stereotype to even get an autism diagnosis. I prefer that Julia be a recurring character, at least, so she could have some time to flesh out. Good characters get time to flesh out over a series, but most characters with differing traits rarely get anything beyond their introduction and defining trait. Hopefully, we can see a development over time.

What I am trying to say is, please, don’t make Julia a one-shot. Make her a realistic child. Listen to us autistic adults. We can give you some insight.

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