Netflix show Atypical and Rain Man don’t tell the real story of living with autism

Authentic representation matters and when creators, writers and the TV networks get these stories wrong, it distorts how society views people with a disability.

The Netflix series Atypical, which focuses on the life of 18-year-old Sam Gardner who is on the autism spectrum, is in my mind a clear example of misrepresentation. The lead actor Keir Gilchrist isn’t autistic, he’s merely pretending to be autistic for the purposes of the show.

But they’ve got it wrong; autistic people don’t talk like that, they don’t think like that and they don’t behave like that.

I know this because I have autism. And like countless times before this TV show, I’m being confronted by an autistic story without an autistic person in sight.


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Accessibility, Access, Inclusion

Nick McAllister

ABC News

Date published:
Tue 21st Jan, 2020