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Why Sesame Street chose a girl muppet with autism

October 28, 2015

Sesame Street has been in the news with the recent announcement of Julia, their first character to have autism. Autism Speaks’ partnership with Sesame Workshop since has been included in over 400 print/online outlets. In a recent piece in the LA Times, Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president discussed why they decided to pick a girl character versus a boy character.

Westin told the LA Times, "We made sure she was a girl namely because autism is seen so much more often in boys. We wanted to make it clear that girls can be on the spectrum, too. We're trying to eliminate misconceptions, and a lot of people think that only boys have autism."

Today, boys are diagnosed with autism 5 times more often than girls (1 in 42 vs. 1 in 189).

You can read more of this story at the LA Times here. You can read more of our coverage of Sesame Street’s first character with autism here