SHE'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT": AUTISM-SPECTRUM DISORDERS IN PRIMETIME TV DRAMAS
From: ETC.: A Review of General Semantics(Vol. 73, Issue 4)
Publisher: Institute of General Semantics
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,846 words
There is an increasing recognition of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) across the media landscape, particularly on television. The bulk of American primetime TV is made up of character-driven dramas, and these dramas have begun to more frequently include depictions of characters with ASDs. The present study examines some depictions of well-known characters exhibiting ASD characteristics in popular TV dramas. Results from this sample, which include characters from Alphas, Fringe, and Grey's Anatomy, indicate that ASD-identified characters continue to be stereotyped and marginalized, with special emphasis placed on their "savant-like" skills, social dysfunction, and inability to function without caregivers. Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): primetime television; social dysfunction; savants; caregivers; stereotyping
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