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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Benefits of Portraying Autism on the Screen

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss depictions of ASD in popular culture.  

Matthew Berger writes at Healthline:
One in 68 U.S. children has autism — 1 in 42 boys — and that rate has steadily increased since researchers began tracking it in 2000.
But just 58 percent of people with autism were employed in 2015. That’s far lower than the overall employment rate, and also the overall rate for people with disabilities.
More people with autism in films and on TV — portrayed accurately — help fix that.
“There’s an unemployment rate that’s ridiculously high,” Matt Asner, vice president of development at the Autism Society of America, told Healthline.
He said people with autism are “model employees,” and that employers need to step up and hire them.
“But in order for that to happen, we need to educate employers on what autism is, and I think film and TV does a great job at that,” he said.
Asner mentioned the new series Atypical and The Good Doctor
“The greatest thing that’s happening right now…is that we’re starting to see people talk about autism in a very respectful way. We’re seeing people weave it into the lives of the people on-screen instead of making a statement about it,” Asner said. “They’re dealing with autism the way it should be dealt with, just as a part of life."