At the time of writing this blog, Sydney is in week eight of lockdown, and we’re all probably reaching for the TV remote and spending a bit more time on streaming services like Netflix to keep us occupied!
There are some incredible shows out there at the moment that give educated insight into the experiences of Autistic people.
We have compiled our top TV shows to watch that feature neurodiverse communities and give light to their experiences.
Atypical – Netflix
“Atypical” follows the life of Sam, an 18-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, who is navigating the confusing and turbulent transition from a teenager to a young adult. The show articulates how ASD may impact a family unit and how parents’ roles change throughout the life of a neurodiverse child. While the show features some emotional and stressful moments, there are beautiful moments that instil hope and demonstrates that the world is wide open for autistic individuals.
Love on the Spectrum – ABC iview or Netflix
“Love on the Spectrum” is an Australian reality TV show that aims to connect individuals on the autism spectrum and help them find love. This show is a heart-warming and joyful example of how individuals on the autism spectrum crave connection and love as much as neurotypical people. While the show provides all the ‘feel good vibes’ during the lockdown, it is also extremely informative. The individuals they interview explain what being autistic means to them and how it has shaped their perspective on life and love. We highly recommend this for all parents, especially those with children on the spectrum.
Speed Cubers – Netflix
“Speed Cubers” is a Netflix documentary that initially presents a show about the competitive world of Rubik’s Cube-solving. The main storyline of the show highlights the remarkable friendship between world champions Max and Feliks. Max was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and his parents were told he would most likely require significant assistance throughout his life. This documentary explains how Max used ‘speedcubing’ to help develop his fine motor and social skills and give insight into the life of an autistic individual. This documentary is unexpectedly uplifting and depicts how a young boy and his family navigates the social challenges associated with his autism.
Life Animated – Amazon Prime
“Life Animated” is a documentary based on the life of Owen, an autistic individual who used Disney movies to help him communicate and make sense of the world. This film does a beautiful job of discussing the importance of autistic people’s ‘special interests’ as a part of their way of connecting with the world. Owen’s intense interest and love for Disney movies gave his parents a channel for communicating and connecting with him. It also allowed Owen to learn about emotions, social relationships and love. The documentary provides insight into the parental experience of an autism diagnosis. It helps to articulate how parents may shift their perspective on what a successful and happy life may look like for their child. “Life Animated” is strongly recommended for any parent, especially those with neurodiverse children, as it helps to remind us of the importance of connection and communication for autistic children.
We hope this list has given you some great recommendations for your next binge-watch. The bottom line is that there are many excellent TV shows about neurodiverse communities right now. It’s a wonderful way to get in touch with different perspectives. If we missed any good ones, let us know!