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Showing posts from April, 2020

A Few Reasons We Go Undiagnosed, Part 1: Special Interests Beyond the Stereotypes

How many autistic characters have you seen in the media? A character on a favorite TV show, or from a movie? How often is the whole show then about autism, rather than a show that just happens to have an autistic character or two?

One thing I've noticed in autism groups and forums is enthusiastic discussion of television/movie characters who, while not officially autistic, seem like excellent representations of the autistic experience. And while I acknowledge that we can't really know if someone is autistic without a comprehensive evaluation, the popular enjoyment of armchair diagnosis raises some really interesting questions: If these characters (who are entertaining and well-loved by autistic and neurotypical viewers alike) seem to fit the criteria for autism diagnosis, why isn't the media more full of canonically autistic characters? Why do we only get an "official" acknowledgment of autism when the character is a white male savant with the most stereotypical s…