|If you can think about any subject, there is probably a movie made about it.|
According to current statistics, one in every 68 American children is affected by autism (one in 42 is the prevalence for males according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Those are astounding rates considering autism was thought to affect only three people in 10,000 during the 1990s. And yet very few book, television, or movie characters with autism spectrum conditions exist.
As more and more children are diagnosed, and as more and more non-autistic children become surrounded by those on the spectrum, it is more important than ever that we achieve further “neurodiversity” in our entertainment. All children need heroes, geniuses, princes/princesses and even villains that they can identify themselves with and feel that they have a connection to the world around them
For that, Autism Soccer has decided to bring you this,
10 Depictions of The Autism Spectrum on Film & Television
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: The Main character, Oskar Schell, who is a nine-year old boy with a brilliant mind, also presents an aversion to loud noises, lack of comfort in social interactions, some obsessive compulsive tendencies, and marked fixation with numbers, all of which suggest some sort of diagnosis somewhere on the Spectrum. This character has been the subject of many heated debates between those in the autism community who say that Oskar as inspiring as he is relatable
- The Story of Luke: The movie stars after his grandmother and caretaker passes away, this is when the main character, Luke, a 25-year-old with ASD, lives to learn how to navigate through an unfamiliar world, all on his own. With determination, Luke sets out to find a job and even falls in love in the process.
- What's Eating Gilbert Grape?: This one’s a classic. Gilbert Grape, the main character, is not the one diagnosed with ASD, instead, he becomes the primary caregiver for his younger brother Arnie, an energetic teenager with autism. Due to their mother’s disability, Gilbert becomes very protective of Arnie, because the boy doesn’t understand social expectations and norms as well as others, all this by living on a small town who is not the most tolerant of different people.
- Mary and Max: “I do not feel disabled, defective or a need to be cured. I like being an Aspie. It would be like trying to change the color of my eyes.” Says Max, a 44 year old man who is pen-pal with an 8 years old Mary, who doesn’t feel like she fits in the social world as the rest of the girls and ends up making a friend in his fellow outcast, this is an emotional, fascinating movie, completely made in clay stop-motion.
- Adam: ASD takes the leading role in this romantic comedy starring Adam, an electronics engineer who struggles with obsessive behavior, social awkwardness and a tendency to feel overwhelmed, al while forging a relationship with her neighbor Beth.
- The Black Balloon: Set in Australia and starring two brothers, the film depicts the quirks of what it’s like to live with someone who has autism. Charlie, the deuteragonist, can be lovable and endearing, but he also throws tantrums, screaming and inflicting physical harm on his family members.
- The Girl With the dragon Tattoo: Despite Stieg Larsson (author of the original saga) never uses the words “autism” or “Asperger’s” to describe the titular character (Lisbeth Salander), the withdrawn Lisbeth often avoids social contact, and her knack for facts and computers often falls into the classic depiction of those on the Spectrum.
- Rain Man: It is impossible to leave this one out. It stars Raymond, who is an autistic savant and his adventures with his brother Charlie. Even today the film remains an important step in the evolution of the portrayal of characters on the autism spectrum.
- Sesame Street: Some classic Tv shows can surprize us with a modern twist. Enter Julia, an adorable muppet of a girl who effectively (and affectively) teaches children at home about the differences and similarities of those within the spectrum.
- Bones: A lack of interest in being social whatsoever, a sharp intellect and gift for scientific facts, as well as an elementary understanding of sarcasm, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan is a powerful, feminist depiction of Asperger syndrome on modern tv.
Here at Autism Soccer, we aim to make the world into a more tolerable and inclusive place, we try to do this by showing how autistic people are as functional as anyone else. Don’t hesitate in writing your comments and questions in the section below, as well as following us on our social networking.
|Movies like "Rain Man" are powerful and moving depictions of autism in film history.|
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