A puppeteer’s personal story about bringing Sesame Street’s first autistic Muppet to life

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It was a Thursday evening, and puppeteer Stacey Gordon was hard at work in her Phoenix, Arizona studio when she received the call of a lifetime.

Matt Vogel, Sesame Street‘s Muppet Captain and Big Bird understudy, called to let Gordon know that the show’s producers picked her to play Julia, the first-ever autistic Muppet and a new addition to the broadcast. The call left her stunned — so much so, she almost couldn’t absorb the news.

“I thought he said a different name,” Gordon says, laughing. “And then I was like, ‘Wait. That was my name.'”

Now, as both a puppeteer and mom of a 13-year-old autistic boy, she’s “thrilled and indescribably honored” to operate a Muppet who will bring more awareness and compassion around autism into millions of children’s homes. …

More about Tv, Children, Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street, and Autism

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