Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Batman and Autism

The entertainment media have raised the profile of the autism issue. Needless to say, Rain Man was a milestone. NBC's television show Parenthood features a character with Asperger's.

And now comic books. The Bergen Record reports:

Batman has brought down criminal clowns and conniving cat burglars. Against autism, however, you would think all of his flying kicks and batarangs would be useless.

Maywood’s Joe Caramagna says you might be surprised.

He believes the comic book adventures of Batman and other superheroes can be a tool to help kids with autism. To that end, he has written a story in the new issue of DC’s “Batman 80-Page Giant 2011” that explores the relationship between comics and the disorder that affects one in 94 children in New Jersey.

“I began to research on message boards and websites about how some children with autism like to read comic books,” said Caramagna, who’s worked for both Marvel and DC Comics. “For some kids, there’s something about the pictures and the text broken into smaller pieces that makes it easier to read than prose novels.

“I wanted to tell a story where comics can make a difference in someone’s life and get their creative juices going. I don’t want to make it sound like if you give a kid a comic, he’ll be cured. But I think they can be used as part of a creative therapy or artistic therapy. With autism, no one knows what might be the thing that unlocks their imagination.”