Some terrific insights here.
“A lot of the time, when autistic people complain that autistic characters are unrealistic, it’s presumed to be an issue of a character not representing the traits or experiences of a certain faction of the autistic community, and we get responses like “But one character can never represent all autistic people.”
But that isn’t the problem. It’s not that they’re not exactly like ourselves; it’s that they have no depth or complexity because they have no lived experience, because their creators didn’t know how to give them one.”
I started watching Westworld last week. In a scene in the first episode, one of the android characters, a “host” in the immersive Wild West-themed amusement park, has found a photograph in his field, discarded by a guest, depicting a woman in modern clothing standing in Times Square at night. Disturbed and confused, he shows it to his daughter, Dolores, but she’s not similarly affected (at least, not yet).
Lacking any possible context or way to make sense of what she sees, she can only say over and over again, “It doesn’t look like anything to me.”
She can’t process the possible existence of a whole reality that she has no framework at all in which to understand.
With the premieres recently of both Atypical and The Good Doctor, I was having a conversation about fictional representation of autistic characters–what we wish we saw more of, what we find…
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