Big Kids

Sesame Street is giving kids a lesson in how to hug their friends with autism

With April being Autism Awareness Month, Sesame Street is doing their bit 

They added their first character with autism, Julia and also introduced her family as part of the show.

Now, they have released a YouTube video of Julia and Sam, two characters on the show to teach kids (and adults) about how to better interact with their classmates and friends with autism.

In the video, the two characters are playing a game of tag, and then show us a "starfish hug" in which the two characters touch fingertips together like each finger is the leg of a starfish.

Sam says, ''Because Julia has Autism, she doesn't like big hugs. So we do a starfish hug instead."

Kids with autism are more touch-sensitive and can feel sensory overload from psychical contact, so they aren't a fan of big hugs. 


A post shared by Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) on

There are other variations of acceptable hugs all with cute names, like a fairy hug in which each child moves their hands together, or a butterfly hug to mimic the flapping wings.

Julia joined Sesame Street two years ago as they show wanted to branch out with inclusivity and autism education. 

We love this – starfish hugs all the way. 

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