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Autism Hollywood: The Good, The Bad and The Bold

autism hollywood
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Autism Hollywood Style-Autism TV

Autism Hollywood style and the entertainment industry is skyrocketing and has come a long way recently.

Let me give you a few examples of television shows with an autistic lead character:

In recent years, the mainstream media has produced programs featuring an autistic main character and supporting characters. 

Representations of autism are growing from a stereo-typical view of autism, to real life, real problems, real people, normal life stuff.

Autism Hollywood depicting the best things like, romantic relationships, friendships, jobs, and navigating the ups and downs of daily life. 

Movies About Autism

Great movie picks featuring a character with autism:

    • Black Manta 
    • Aquaman featuring Black Manta’s autistic brain
    • Academy Award/Best Picture

The film Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise for Best Picture/Best Director/Best Actor


Autistic Savants

Hollywood has spotlighted savant syndrome.  This means creating an autistic character with a special skill.  This may look like a character who excels at music, math or creative abilities.

Yes, sometimes this happens.  

A child with autism spectrum disorder may also have an exceptional talent.  However, this is only about 1 out of 10 kids with autism.

Fictional depictions of autistic kids with savant abilities are highlighted because they create good story.  

The problem is that savant syndrome becomes the norm, not the exception. 

It’s important to represent autism in the most realistic way possible. 

Books About Autism

Kids in middle school and high school are looking for ways to relate to and understand their world and know they are gonna be okay.  Here are a few books that can help.

  1. Ian’s Walk
  2. The Warner Boys:  Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope
  3. Life, Animated.  True story of the autistic son of a Disney animator
  4. Real
  5. Can You See Me?
  6. The Boy Who Steals Houses
  7. Planet Earth Is Blue
  8. A Boy Called Bat (Series)

Actors with autism actors with aspbergers

Autistic Actors

An autistic actor is newer on the Hollywood scene.  Thankfully, our world is becoming more inclusive and we see this reflected in TV and film.

So you want to know, “What famous people are autistic?

Celebrities with autism and adhd 

    autism hollywood

  1. Dan Ackroyd
  2. Darryl Hannah
  3. Temple Grandin
  4. Courtney Love
  5. Sir Anthony Hopkins
  6. Susan Boyle
  7. Clay Marzo (surfer)
  8. Elon Musk
  9. Wentworth Miller
  10. Bob Dylan
  11. James Taylor
  12. Sir Isaac Newton


Tal Anderson “Sydney” 

Robia Rashid creator of the Netflix series Atypical.   She is not autistic herself.

The Good Doctor

Coby Bird plays an autistic patient on The Good Doctor.  Coby is an autistic actor.

Nik Sanchezzhe first actor with autism in a Hallmark movie

Freddie Highmore lead actor on The Good Doctor plays an autistic surgeon and has savant syndrome.  He is not autistic.


Everything's Gonna Be Ok

Kayla Cromer autistic actor who plays Matilda on Everything’s gonna be ok.  She is one of the first actors with Asperger’s Disorder to portray a character with Aspberger’s syndrome as a main character.

The art therapy program was developed by Dr. David Mandell, an expert in the field of autism treatment.

In addition to improving communication skills, Dr. Mandell says that art therapy also helps people learn how to relate to others. It teaches them to understand other people’s emotions and feelings.

Art therapy has been used to help people with autism since the early 1900s. In fact, some of the first documented cases of art therapy were done with patients who had mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Today, art therapy is still widely used to treat individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

This program has been proven to help children with autism learn social skills, improve their ability to communicate, and develop self-esteem.

Dr. Mandell developed an innovative approach to teaching children with autism using art therapy. He found that by creating artwork, children were able to express themselves more effectively than when they tried to talk. They learned to recognize facial expressions and body language, and they began to understand what was going on around them.

The program includes a series of activities designed to help children express themselves through drawing and painting.

In addition to helping children develop social skills, Dr. Mandell discovered that his students also enjoyed the process of making art. They felt proud of their work and gained confidence as they became more skilled at expressing themselves.

The program helps children with autism become more aware of their surroundings, and it improves their ability to interact socially.

In addition to improving social skills, art therapy also helps children develop self-esteem and confidence. They gain an understanding of themselves as individuals, and they begin to see themselves as part of a larger community.


Hey there!  I'm Betsy.  Mom, RN, special education teacher and blogger at The Autism Daily Brew.  Working hard to bring you the best resources in autism.

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