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UNC Professor Helps Bring ‘Sesame Street’ Puppet With Autism To Life

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Copyright 2017 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.
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The puppet in the middle of the photo, "Julia", is a new 'Sesame Street' character designed to teach children about autism.

For nearly five decades “Sesame Street” has used playful characters to teach kids about tough subjects. In recent years the show has addressed parental incarceration and divorce. This week the TV show introduced a new puppet with her own distinct challenges. Julia, who is on the autistic spectrum, does not communicate in a predictable way and struggles with sensory overload.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Laura Klinger, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine and the executive director of the TEACCH Autism Program. She helped advise “Sesame Street” on the creation of the new puppet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKCdV20zLMs
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Laura Pellicer is a digital producer with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.