This is really neat:
The role of Julia is played by Stacey Gordon … a Phoenix-based puppeteer who … has a [13-year-old] son with autism, and, before she started her family, was a therapist to youngsters on the spectrum.
The introduction of an autistic muppet is bold but needed. Love this so much:
Having a character that exhibits common traits of autism on the longest running and best-loved children’s television is an enormous step. It means educating children from a very young age, and in a subtle way, that differences can be something to be celebrated not feared. That they are in fact a normal part of life.
“Not feared” is a great and worthy mission. You and I encounter folks who are different than ourselves in every way, shape, and form. These differences make us stronger, not weaker.
Diversity isn’t just a cool, hip, relevant thing… it’s a matter of survival and of our collective success. I think about just my own marriage and how I wouldn’t be who I am today without my partner and best friend who is radically different than me.
Thank God for that.