PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Classic children's TV show Sesame Street is raising awareness for Autism, as it introduces a new character named Julia.
In the show, Julia is a four-year-old with Autism that often echoes what she hears from her friends. The Muppet, however, has a Valley connection, as the woman behind the Muppet lives in Phoenix.
Julia is the first Muppet of its kind in Sesame Street's 47-year history, Across the country, one in 68 children are diagnosed with the disorder.
"Everyone is touched by Autism in some way," said Stacy Gordon, in an interview conducted via Skype. "Whether it's their own child, grandchild, niece, nephew, their friends, cousin. Somebody knows a kid or an adult with Autism."
For Gordon, Autism is also something that affects her closely, as her 13-year-old son has it as well. Gordon, however, said the parallels between her son and Julia are not exactly the same.
"There's a saying that if you've met one kid with Autism, you've met one kid with Autism," said Gordon. "So, Julia is different than my son in the fact that my son is high functioning and so he's quite verbal. Julia is still one to two word phrases that she says."
Gordon said the experience with Sesame Street is something she does not take lightly.
"I keep saying it;'s an indescribable honor," said Gordon, who went on to say that she hopes Julia can help de-stigmatize Autism.