It’s only natural to want to see yourself and your life reflected back from the world around you. It’s part of human nature and allows us to see ourselves as a vital and active part of society in general.
Much has been discussed — and, thankfully, continues to be discussed like this and this — about why #RepresentationMatters. For the autistic community, reflections in the media are hard to come by. For autistic people of colour, non-binary and trans people, and to a lesser extent women, finding ourselves on screen has been next to impossible.
Until autistic characters are routinely portrayed *and identified as such* in film, television, theatre, fiction, memoir, graphic novels, video games, and in all the other ways we entertain and inform ourselves, not only will society’s misinformed attitudes and behaviours remain unevolved but #ActuallyAutistic adults may continue blaming ourselves, being shamed for “failing”, and never knowing our true selves.
For good or bad, here are some of the popularly available ways to see yourself — as an autistic person and member of a historically marginalized community — on screen. All synopses are from IMDB.
Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and cocky F.B.I. Special Agent Seeley Booth build a team to investigate murders. Quite often, there isn’t more to examine than rotten flesh or mere bones.
When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.
Alicia has been a good wife to her husband, a former state’s attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now provide for her family and returns to work as a litigator in a law firm. (Look for lawyer Elsbeth Tascioni.)
A bachelor becomes the unwilling guardian of his autistic, intellectually disabled sister; then an experimental treatment works a dramatic change in her brain and his attitude.
Tells the story of a psychopathic killer who drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd and a recently retired detective who tries to bring him down. (Look for the character of Holly Gibney.)
Based on the 10 minute award-winning short film of the same title, Normal People Scare Me is a feature-length documentary sharing first-person accounts of life and living with autism.
When an insidious supernatural force edges its way into a murder case, it leads the investigators to question everything they believe in. The character of Holly Gibney (not specified as autistic) is a major character in this series.
Prince Wilhelm adjusts to life at his prestigious new boarding school but following his heart proves more challenging than anticipated. In this Swedish teen drama, Frida Argento plays Sara, an autistic teen with ADHD.