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How do you feel about autism in books and movies?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Kalinychta, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I just started reading a new book called Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan which—surprise—features an autistic character, the little brother of one of the main characters. My hackles immediately raised when I realized that he has Asperger’s.

    How do you feel about the way autism is portrayed in books and films and television shows? Are you sensitive about it?

    Mozart and the Whale remains the only film about autism that I consider accurate and fair. In film and fiction, mostly it seems like we’re portrayed as inept, floundering oddities who are to be pitied. In a way I find it really funny. And I also acknowledge that no one gives a damn about autism unless they have it or someone they care about has it. So, we’re stereotyped, naturally.

    But it still bothers me sometimes. How do you feel about it?
     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have read a number of memoirs and books by autistic adults about their lives, nonfiction, this is certainly a good way to read about autism.

    In fictional portrayals, I guess it varies. That series The Good Doctor has gone for a savant type stereotype but tried also to portray how he might have a background where he had learned enough skills to tough out the real world. However it's far fetched and I don't think he'd be in a hospital job without a support person. @Neonatal RRT gave an example of someone he works with sometimes who is somewhat like the character, and has a support worker to bring them to the operations.

    However I do think there's plenty with full on ASD 1 in hospitals and lots of jobs, including universities and teaching and surveyors, engineers, IT etc. So in that way its true. Also I think they show the unevenness I experience, well. Absolutely fine and great in some areas, inept and clueless in others, according to commonly accepted norms.

    I believe we need portrayals of autism in all forms in media, to give us a chance to have our existence acknowledged. Gradually I would expect the portrayals to get more accurate.

    Graham Simison I think is probably ASD 1, and his 3 book series the Rosie Project and sequels have quite a lot of realism, giving that realistic contrast between high talents and odd or inept or simple and directness, that seems familiar in my life. He does ramp it up to be funny, but mostly I don't think our lives are that funny. I do have a quirky and ever present sense of humour though, and I liked these stories.

    If you've met one Aspie, chances are they aren't typical of everyone for sure. In that way, the whole of autism can't be shown in one or even a few characters.

    McDonald and Dobbs is a detective policing series airing series 2 now in UK, Dobbs is an Aspie guy in his 50s, and I have spotted at least 2 other extended portrayals of Aspies so far, there was a guy who was similar to Dobbs but oops he was a murderer, and last week a female who was uneven and somewhat Aspie like, she was also a murderer.

    So the juries out on where that ones going. In my opinion we are no more likely to be murderers than anyone else. But both those characters were I thought quite well drawn as potential Aspies. I was less convinced they would have killed anyone, honestly, I would think crimes of intellectual nature that involve getting something we want would be more convincing for Aspies. But an Aspie police detective is believable, I think.
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Think l have read so many success stories here of people getting over mountains of obstacles that l have a very different view of us. But because we don't really acknowledge our good parts of us, USA America doesn't know us. We are more likely to postulate about our shortcomings and only see our faults. So any character of us tends to be skewed. We are functional, or stumbling functional or really need help from what l read here.
     
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  4. Trophonius

    Trophonius Well-Known Member

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    I don't like them. They follow a trend to represent autistic people as quirky folks who were born without the blessing of being normal, coupled with impressive yet useless abilities.

    Movies with autistic characters are mostly written by and for NT, conveying a "THAT is so weird, isn't it good to be us? let's palm ourselves in the back" kind of feeling.
     
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  5. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Asperger's on tv is a cottage industry most are gross exaggerations.
     
  6. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I still think Sherlock Holmes is autistic.
     
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  7. AprilR

    AprilR Well-Known Member

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    I feel depressed and like nt people are really incapable of understanding us when i watch movies/tv shows about autism.
     
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  8. Finder

    Finder Active Member

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    I think the only movies featuring an autistic character I have enjoyed are Temple Grandin and A Brilliant Young Mind (US title: UK title: X + Y)
     
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  9. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Watch the movie: Keep The Change. The main characters as well as a good number of the supporting cast have autism. It's one of the best movies in that regard in portraying autistic people because autistic people act in the movie.

    Otherwise I agree Mozart and the Whale is good. I thought Please Stand By was good and I also agree on the Temple Grandin movie.

    I liked "Jane Has a Boyfriend" and thought it did a good job.

    Another one I liked that's hard to find is called Snowcake with Sigourney Weaver (as an autistic woman).

    I actually have less criticism on any of the above movies I mentioned in how they portrayed autism than the Netflix TV series Atypical. I"m on the fence as to how I feel about the main character Sam Gardner in that series.

    Another good TV series that portrays a young autistic boy is a British series called The "A" Word.

    I do wish there were 100 times more autism related TV and films because that's probably all I would watch.
     
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  10. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    all the csI series, HOUSE, BONES, NEED I say more.
     
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  11. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    They are always young, cute, quirky, and plugged in. But there are A LOT of Aspies who are older and have been trounced by life. No voice for those who are burnt out, older, suffering, and maybe even living in a van. Or not living in a van, but wandering the earth and surviving in very creative ways. Older Aspies, please.
     
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  12. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    i am am older 66 years old recently retired Covid sucks. not life
     
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  13. Exbrewer

    Exbrewer Member

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    Having written a fictional book, The Cubic Pea, with two Aspie characters I know how difficult it is to avoid stereotypes. I really wanted to stress positive aspects of ASD as I viewed my target audience as parents who were struggling to cope and would benefit from a glimmer of hope in the future. Feedback from NT readers has been very good but I have no idea how my book has gone down with Aspies as the only feedback I've had has been on minor pedantic issues rather than the whole thing (matching the stereotype!!). I have started a sequel but am struggling to hit a balance I'm happy with. I'll probably end up playing down the Aspie element so as not to court controversy.
     
  14. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    You need to have good arguments. Professionals say he is something else.

    I tried to watch the first episode of Bron (the Bridge) and it made me really upset. I hate when people spread asperger stereotypes like that!!!!!
     
  15. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    gross exaggerations are a part of nearly all movies and operas. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it is spreading misinformation.