Image of Cynthia Erivo as Holly Ginny on The Outsider

Autistic Minorities on Screen

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.


Series. 2005-2017

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.

Bron/BROEN (THe Bridge)

Series. 2011-2018

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.


Film. 2008

An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.


For Izzy

Film. 2018

The lives of a recovering addict and her single mother change forever when they move in next door to a widowed father and his adult daughter with autism.

The girl with the dragon tattoo

Film (Swedish). 2009.
Film (American). 2011

A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.

The Good WifE

Series. 2009-2016

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.)

Jane Wants A Boyfriend

Film. 2015.

A young woman with Asperger’s tries to find her first boyfriend with a little help from her older sister.

Mrs. Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Series. 2012-2015

Season 2, Episode 8: The Blood of Juana the Mad. The death of Dr Mac’s university colleague pulls Phryne and Jack from their estrangement to untangle a murder that involves a brilliant but rightfully paranoid female student.


Film. 1999.

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.

Mozart and the whale

Film. 2005.

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.

Mr. Mercedes

Series. 2017-2019..

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.)

Normal People Scare Me

Documentary. 2006.

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.

The OUtsider

Series. 2020.

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.


Please Stand By

Film. 2017.

A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a “Star Trek” writing competition.

The Reason I Jump

Documentary. 2020.

Based on the book by Naoki Higashida, this immersive film explores the experiences of non-speaking autistic people around the world.


Sesame Street

Series. 1969-.

Episode “Meet Julia”. 2017. On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, human and muppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs. (Julia is a four-year-old girl muppet who is autistic.)

Snow Cake

Film. 2006.

A drama focused on the friendship between a high-functioning autistic woman and a man who is traumatized after a fatal car accident.

Temple Grandin

Film. 2010.

A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.


Series. 2021.

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.

#ActuallyAutistic Casting

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