Media Representation and The Spectrum

Hello all!

Like most of you probably are, I am an avid consumer of social media. I spent constant time connecting with my friends on Facebook, following celebrities on Instagram, and browsing online stores looking for the latest trends.

Recently I came across an article on Facebook,

Netflix’s “Atypical” Was a Major Disappointment for Autism Representation

For those of you that haven’t seen Atypical, it’s about a teen on the spectrum who decides that he wants to start dating. It’s for the most part heartfelt and comedic, however, as the author pointed out, there were some parts that I felt where the main characters’ symptoms were either over exaggerated or used as a joke by the creators. This lead me to question, is there really a perfect representation of Autism?

One of the things that makes Autism so intriguing, is the amount of complexity that is attached to it. No two people on the spectrum are going to be the same (but that’s the case for anyone really), and it’s important to note that many of the people that create these shows are neuro-typical. This in absolutely no way undermines their credibility but I feel that there could be more depth and dimension in developing the authenticity of their characters.

There are many films and tv shows nowadays that are creating more opportunities for actors of diverse backgrounds and various disabilities (i.e. A Quiet Place providing a role for a deaf actress, Coco having an all latino cast). This made me think, what if we could provide roles for actors with Autism to play characters with Autism, or allow the production to be directed by someone on the spectum?

If not that, how about we create a tv show or a movie that focuses on females with Autism? (we need a lot more representation than a muppet on Sesame Street folks).

I think that it would be amazing to see individuals with Autism come together and make a film or tv show because I feel that it would add such a genuine and authentic element into the effort to represent Autism in the most realistic way possible.

No representation is perfect, but I believe that bringing people of a similar background together could make for something truly exceptional.

Bye For Now!



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Hey Everyone! My name is Shana and I'm a young adult on the Autism spectrum. I was diagnosed at age 4 and have been aware of my condition since I was 10 years old. I created this blog as not only just an outlet, but to provide insight as to what life with autism is really like, and to hopefully inspire others who are both directly or indirectly affected by Autism. Thank you for your time, and Welcome to my little corner of the internet :)

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