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There are many stereotypes and stigmas surrounding autism and other forms of neurodiversity.
While stereotypes perform a function in society and may not have harmful intent, they often result in people viewing all autistics as being a certain way. Negative traits are magnified.
A typical stereotype of an autistic person is: white, male, stims with their hands/fingers, stares at the ground, socially oblivious, quite smart or perhaps quite dumb. This stereotype is particularly harmful because it stops people from recognizing that women and people of color are autistic as well, which can prevent accurate self-diagnosis and professional diagnosis.
There are many examples of stereotypes in modern media. The list below is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of the Autism landscape in popular media.
- Shaun, The Good Doctor (Medical Drama)
- Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon (Situation Comedies)
- Sam Gardner, Atypical (Comedy-Drama)
- Love on the Spectrum (Reality - While the people featured in the show are actually autistic, the commentary and framing/tone of the show, which comes from allistic narrators/therapists/family members, contributes to many stereotypes.)
- 'As We See It' (tv show about 3 autistic roommates played by 3 actually autistic actors)
- Christopher, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (While not stated in the book itself, the blurb refers to Asperger syndrome)
- Rain Man
- Music (Musical Drama)
- Christopher, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
|Autism 'Research' and 'Therapy'|
Autism Speaks - Autism stereotypes - Bias - Deficit model - Functioning labels - Ethics of autism research - History of autism - Pathology paradigm - Stigma - Applied behavior analysis - Violence against Autistic people