Autism and Hollywood: Superheroes and super-victims

I am a father. I have two wonderful children who see the world in their own unique way, and every day they teach and challenge me in various ways. But unlike many other children, there are few characters in movies or television that they can fully relate to like other kids can.

Both of my children are Autistic.

One would suppose that it’s easier to write those characters in such a way because it’s easier for audiences to see the disorder. Unlike Down’s syndrome or other disorders, Autism isn’t always apparent to the casual observer. Also, writers need to work the character’s condition into the story somehow, which means that either they are portrayed as the helpless handicapped person who needs looking after, thus gaining the audience’s sympathy for them or for those who are “burdened” by their task, or they are somehow inherently crucial to the plot,
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