Representing Autism in Television: Perpetuating the Stereotypes
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is increasing in prevalence in North America. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) notes that in 2000 the rate of diagnosis was 1 in 150, in 2008 the rate was 1 in 88 and in 2014 the rate increased to 1 in 59. Some traits and needs of persons with autism may include, deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, difficulties understanding and responding to social situations, restrictive interests and hyper- or hyposensitivity. With the increased rates of diagnosis there comes a need for greater social awareness. This paper will discuss how the media plays a factor in disseminating information about ASD and the implications that portraying stereotypes may have on the autism community.