Meet Julia, the First Muppet on ‘Sesame Street’ with Autism (VIDEOS)

by Jessica Goldstein – “Sesame Street’ stands for inclusion and acceptance.” The first thing children watching Sesame Street might notice about Julia, the new Muppet on the block, is that she doesn’t want to make eye contact with Big Bird. Sesame devotees — which is to say, toddlers, kids, and their parents — might recognize Julia from her previous appearances on digital Sesame platforms, including ebooks. They’ll already know that Julia is a four-year-old with autism. But for viewers who will meet Julia for the first time when she makes her broadcast debut on April 10, Julia might seem unusual. Then again, maybe not: One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Maybe Julia will not seem unusual at all. Maybe she’ll seem totally, completely familiar. “When something is this prevalent, it’s something we have to step up to,” Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President for Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said by phone....

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The 11 Biggest Pop Culture Surprises Of 2015

by JESSICA GOLDSTEIN – Round-up season continues! Read on to remember all the whats that made you say “WHAT?!” in 2015. Robert Durst confessed that he ‘killed them all’ on The Jinx Just about everything on The Jinx, the HBO docuseries about skyscraper scion Robert Durst, is surprising, starting with the fact that Durst agreed to be interviewed at all. (Durst was a man long believed to have been involved in/responsible for the disappearance of his first wife; you’d think he might want to keep a low profile.) There was the cool, detached way Durst described dismembering a corpse — limbs and head in garbage bags, torso in a suitcase — that was so disturbing, he explained, his legal team advised him to tell the Texas jury he didn’t remember the details. There was the trail of bodies a person could trace, like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs, back to Durst....

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