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Sunday, January 2, 2022

ASD and "General Hospital"

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss depictions of ASD in popular culture.  There are now efforts to improve the representation of autistic people in the performing arts. 

Amy Mistretta at Soaps:
General Hospital viewers have watched as Ned and Olivia’s marriage has further suffered over their difference of opinion when it comes to their son Leo. However, now that Austin’s suspicions have been confirmed, and a doctor officially diagnosed Leo with Autism, the parents will have to pull together in order to be there for their boy.

Many may not know this but Wally Kurth’s son, Brogan George, who was born in 2004, was diagnosed with Autism. Fans and Autism parents have flooded the ABC soap actor with thanks for being a part of this storyline. “As a parent of a son with ASD, I always say ‘it’s a journey,’” he replied to one fan and shared, “Its unexpected twists and turns have made me a better father, a better man. I wouldn’t trade it.”
And Leo’s portrayer, Easton Rocket Sweda, had something to tell fans as well, “[Leo] got diagnosed with Autism, but you know what’s cool? I have Autism too.” In a video posted on Twitter, he went on to tell his story about having been diagnosed very young and how he couldn’t speak until he was four years old. “Now look at me.” He smiled. “I have a cool life. Kids with Autism are cool.” To all of the others out there with Autism, Sweda wanted them to know, “You’ll have a good life too.”