In some ways, Hollywood portrayals of people with autism have come a long way since “Rain Man.”

The new Netflix series “Atypical” and the forthcoming ABC show “The Good Doctor” showcase main characters who are on the autism spectrum and show them dealing with romantic and work-related plot lines, respectively.

But in other ways, depictions of autism on-screen have a ways to go. How can writers and producers tell honest, diverse autism narratives that will entertain audiences and challenge our ideas about a mental condition that affects more than 3.5 million Americans?


  • Eric Deggans TV critic, NPR; @Deggans
  • Joanne Lara Executive director, Autism Works Now; @autismmovement
  • Kristen Lutynski Mother of a child with autism
  • Dana Visalli-Gold President and CEO, Optimal Beginnings; @OptimalBegin

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