Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Movie and TV Depictions of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Anders Nordahl-HansenEmail author
  • Roald Oien
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102247-1


This chapter focuses on the topic of character portrayals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in film and TV-series. We address this topic by presenting research from the general psychiatric field before we discuss the research on portrayals of characters with ASD. We will also provide the reader with some examples of films and TV-series that have been given particular attention in the popular media and that will be known to many, also outside of the autism community. We address both advantages and disadvantages that are consequences of popular-media portrayals of ASD.

Historical Background

In the last few years, there has been a surge of new characters in fictional film and in TV-shows that either are labelled as having an autism spectrum disorder by the makers or by the public due to resembling traits and behaviors of the characters with that on the autism spectrum. In general, portrayals of people with psychiatric disorders in film and TV-series are not an uncommon topic...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special Needs EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Arctic University of Norway, University of TromsøTromsoNorway
  3. 3.Yale Child Study Center, Yale Autism ProgramYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA