Are There Any Positive Examples Of Autistic People In Media?

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Joined: 6 May 2008
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23 Apr 2021, 9:54 am


If a fictional character is identified by its creator(s) as being autistic, what is likely to follow is that the general public would come to believe that ALL autistic people are exactly like that fictional character.  Conversely, a real-life autistic person who presented differently than the fictional character would be declared by the public as not autistic, not autistic enough, or deliberately faking their autistic symptoms.

Think about it; how many of us have heard or read a phrase like, "They/You can't be autistic because they/you don't act like Rainman"?

Maybe this is why most autistically-portrayed fictional characters are not officially identified as autistic by their actors or creators.  Then again, "obviously" autistic characters might only be the result of bad acting, bad directing, or bad writing.  Or maybe the actors simply were not "into" the roles they were playing.


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Joined: 21 Jul 2020
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25 Apr 2021, 2:01 pm

The auti-biography of Temple Grandin with Claire Danes is good.

I found the movie [i]X + Y[/i] (Brit.) A Brilliant Young Mind (US) is good as well:

The main character of X + Y is based on a Daniel Lightwing and the documentary Beautiful Young Minds, which follows mathematicians in an international competition.

I have not seen the movie, but have read the book that inspired it, The Reason I Jump:


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07 Jul 2021, 3:45 pm

It's necessary to dig deep to find positive examples - that is many people concerned with the Autism Spectrum generally reject any type of publicity.

Tufted Titmouse
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13 Jul 2021, 12:26 am

Emu Egg
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26 Jul 2021, 7:51 am

Hello everyone,
Can I just add that I think 'positive examples' leaves a lot open to the individual viewers' perspective and opinion too. I am ASD or what was called Aspergers, I am female, and I now live in a country I can't speak the language of. So I listen to a lot of podcasts and watch a lot of stuff when I get time. When I watched, for example, The Big Bang Theory I never thought about Sheldon being the only Neurodivergent or Autistic person, I thought the whole point was they all were in some way on a spectrum and Penny was the odd one out? But because he's seen as an extreme and makes others uncomfortable he is where the focus went and negative focus at that. When you listen to Bill Prady talk about it I think he seems logical and I relate, others would not. I loved Sheldon because I related to him SOOOO much, but as a female, I could not think to act that way (I used to be very good at masking in my younger years) But all I heard was people calling him an a-hole. Later I thought Amy helped everyone understand more and that was positive example of support and love ?
We must have representation, I'm craving aspiring female characters that stim and go non-verbal some days and can run a household others, but I want to see all diversity displayed without the label as the main focus, not explaining ourselves as much as BEING ourselves on screen and others seeing who we are. Every person on this planet has limitations and things they are better at than others. But WE always have to defend and prove ourselves because our label means to some we are 'less than'. We want representation and support, understanding and acceptance. But no one person in the media or one character will ever have everyone's approval, majorities just don't seem to operate that way. That's why we need the actual stars or writers or directors or whoever to create the thing and then say I am autistic, the people that helped make this with me are too. We don't need to defend ourselves, together we can do what we need to do. Hopefully, with the power of new crypto-currencies and NFT possibilities, we can come together and fund our own representative projects without the industry needing to even understand. This is a cool space. :heart:


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30 Jul 2021, 7:23 pm

Where is Glow Up Season 3 Winner Now?

Netflix’s ‘Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star,’ alternatively known as ‘Glow Up,’ is a captivating competition series wherein ten make-up artists (MUAs) strive to prove their worth in the industry. Over eight weeks, they face off against each other in a set of tricky challenges to showcase their skills and impress industry bigwigs like Dominic Skinner and Val Garland. In the end, the crowned winner gets to walk away with experience under their belt and a contract to expand their wings as a professional artist. Thus, let’s find out how the champion of season 3, Sophie Baverstock, is faring today, shall we?

Even though Sophie Baverstock had been diagnosed with autism at the age of 17, she always knew that she was a little different. From falling in love with horror, sci-fi, and all things considered “strange” and gruesome at an early age to desperately wanting to be a part of it, she understood that she was on an unusual path. So, when Sophie discovered make-up and learned about what it could do, she realized that she’d found her calling.

The freedom of expression and the creative artistry involved made her pursue it as an area of study and profession, helping her land a spot on ‘Glow Up.’ From the beginning, with her unique masking look to represent autism and her experience with the same, Sophie classified herself as the one to watch out for.

In the finale, Sophie defeated her phobia of public speaking to gain a one-on-one guidance conversation with Emmy-nominated make-up guru Brian Kinney. Then, she upgraded her initial look and added small crystals and lavender to earn a spot in the ultimate face-off and emerge as the winner.

Following Sophie Baverstock’s journey on the show, where she openly spoke about neurotypical behavior for the first time in her life, the Suffolk native stated that she’s glad to have opened up. “I got such a good response,” she told BBC. “And it was so overwhelming, in a good way. There were so many young girls who messaged me saying they now understand themselves a bit better, and a few people got diagnoses since seeing me on the show. People with autism are still quite a hidden group in society.” So now, Sophie is using her “gift” of being on the spectrum to expand her career and knowledge.

At the age of 22, Sophie just graduated from Arts University Bournemouth with a specialized degree in Make-up for Media and Performance. Hence, today, she continues to take up every possible opportunity that comes her way in the hopes of fulfilling her ultimate dream of getting to work behind the scenes for television shows and movies in the world of entertainment.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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11 Sep 2021, 4:50 pm

Definitely one of the best depictions I’ve seen is the Australian series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. It has not one, but two autistic main characters that are played by autistic actors— Matilda, played by Kayla Cromer, and Nicholas, played by Josh Thomas (the latter however is not diagnosed with autism until the end of Season 2). I found both of these characters to be pretty relatable, Josh more so than Matilda as he feels more Aspie-ish as well as the differences in how male vs female autism presents. There are also two of Matilda’s friends that are autistic characters played by autistic actors, so overall it feels like a very “autistic” show. Such a shame it’s been cancelled now.