Screengrab from @sesamestreet on Twitter

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- There's a newcomer on the Sesame Street block, a preschooler with autism named Julia.

The Sesame Workshop said Wednesday that the character is being introduced as part of an initiative to take the stigma out of autism. The initiative also is aimed at helping those who deal with the developmental disorder.

Julia will be included in digital and printed storybooks featuring Sesame Workshop characters including Elmo and Abby.

She will be portrayed as a girl who "does things a little differently" when playing with her Muppet friends, the workshop said.

Author Leslie Kimmelman wrote the new storybook We're Amazing 1, 2, 3 -- starring Julia, Elmo and Abby -- based on her experiences as the parent of a child with autism. 

The new initiative, called "See Amazing in All Children," will provide educational resources about autism to teachers and others. It also will offer tools for handling everyday activities to families touched by it.

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