NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ brings real-life autism to TV

Stimeyland blogger Jean Winegardner writes about a character with Asperger’s syndrome in this Washington Times post:

As a parent of a child with autism, I have watched with interest several television programs that have featured autistic characters. NBC’s new hour-long drama “Parenthood” is the newest of these programs, and one that holds a great deal of promise.

I am interested in autistic characters on television for the same reasons many other minority groups are interested in seeing people representative of them on television. It educates, it normalizes and it includes. I’ve been disappointed in the past by autistic portrayals on TV, notably Mary McDonnell’s doctor with Asperger’s on “Grey’s Anatomy,” because the characters just didn’t ring true and seemed to perpetuate stereotypes.

I’ve been seeing commercials for “Parenthood” for a long time, but just learned last week that one of the characters, Max, is a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. This is intriguing because I can’t think of any instances in which a child has played a person with autism. I was further compelled to watch after learning that “Parenthood” producer Jason Katims has a 13-year-old son with Asperger’s, which means the situations surrounding Max come from a place of experience.

via NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ Brings Real-Life Autism to TV | Washington Times Communities.

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