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Feel Good News of The Day: 'Sesame Street' Introduces First Character With Autism
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Sesame Workshop is taking a step toward wiping away the stigma associated with autism.

A new character, Julia, has been introduced as a part of Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children. Julia will live digitally on an app that helps parents and children with autism communicate through story cards.

The movement to bring Julia to life has taken three years, and includes other pieces to the campaign like "The Amazing Song."

"Our goal is to bring forth what all children share in common, not their differences. Children with autism share in the joy of playing and loving and being friends and being part of a group," Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, the senior vice president of community and family engagement at Sesame Workshop, told People magazine.

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Anti-vaxxers just got schooled by a little red muppet.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Sesame Street and The Daily Dot have teamed up in a new PSA about why vaccinations are so important.

In the 3-minute clip, Murthy explains to Elmo, who initially isn’t so keen on getting a shot, why he needs one if he wants to stay healthy. He compares it to wearing a bicycle helmet or carrying an umbrella when it rains.

Murthy talked more about the collaboration on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog:

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools we have for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children in the U.S. born between 1994 and 2013, routine vaccinations will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

And they both took a little dig at the anti-vaxxer movement at the end of the video.

“That was so easy. Why doesn’t everybody get a vaccination,” he says.

“That’s a good question Elmo,” Murthy replies.

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PSA BTS of the Day: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined Elmo and Rosita to tape a special Sesame Street PSA asking Americans to "be a good neighbor to military families."

The BTS footage above is far less serious, yet eminently more adorable.

[themarysue.]

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Dreams Do Come True of the Day: Following the SXSW screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, Mark Walters of Bigfanboy.com fulfills a life-long dream of tickling the real Elmo (AKA Sesame Street Muppet Captain Kevin Clash).

[thanks adam!]

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