First Autistic actor to portray an autistic on Israeli TV

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02 May 2022, 9:17 am

Times of Israel

Quote:
An Israeli actress is set to become the first autistic performer to portray a character with autism on Israeli television.

Geffen Kaminer, 18, has taken up the role in the upcoming series “East Side,” starring Yehuda Levi, on the Kan public broadcaster.

Levi plays a doting father to Kaminer’s character, Maya, on the show.

“I felt that nothing on television represented me,” Kaminer said in an interview with Kan. “It’s not me, and it’s not like me.”

She said she had struggled in school, had felt out of place, and that adolescence and its social challenges were particularly hard for autistic youth.

She had trouble expressing herself, and voicing her difficulties, and would sometimes lash out at teachers and other students, she said.

“It’s really frustrating to be autistic, especially during adolescence,” she said.

Kaminer said a casting call for an autistic performer went out in an online group for the mothers of autistic children. She signed up, went through a number of auditions, and got the role.

Kaminer said she had been a difficult child, and was diagnosed at age 6, but her parents were advised to not tell her at that age, and she found out when she was 9.

Basically, I don’t feel like everyone else. I don’t know what’s different for me because I don’t know what’s happening with them,” she said.

“Everything that’s obvious to them, like going out, finding work, getting married, doing the army, it’s not obvious to us,” she said.

She said she’s now in a better school, and acting has helped her cope with those frustrations.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman