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enz
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06 Jan 2024, 3:00 am

Why do aspergers/austistic people have to always be geniuses in TV when the spectrum is so broad in real life?



bee33
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06 Jan 2024, 4:43 am

There's a show called Atypical on Netflix about an autistic teenager that is quite good, and he's not a genius. There's also a show called As We See It on Amazon Prime (which I haven't seen) about three autistic roommates, who also are not geniuses. (At least one of the actors in on the spectrum, and possibly all three are.) An old TV show called Parenthood had an autistic teenager as one of the characters, also not a genius, though I'm not sure if it was a great portrayal of autism.

But you're right that much of the time on TV shows autistic characters are geniuses. There are other shows with genius characters as well. I think people are fascinated by geniuses, almost as if they have a superpower. People like shows in which people can do amazing things that most people can't do.

It's kind of ironic because in real life people don't much like geniuses. :)



autisticelders
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06 Jan 2024, 5:48 am

because if it looked like real life everybody would not watch it? All that stuff is built on extremes for drama... right?


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06 Jan 2024, 7:48 am

Some people considered geniuses have probably been on the autism spectrum. Examples are Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and Rosalind Franklin. So there's an historical basis for that perception. Whether it's a matter of coincidence, or there's some genuine correlation, I have no idea.


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06 Jan 2024, 11:49 am

Other misconception is that savants=genius. They can be. But about the autistic savant trope. While most autists are not savants, if I remember correctly half the known savants are autistic. Also the high levels of skill/knowledge our special interests might provide us in narrow area's might be seen in the eyes of most normies as savant-like. Which in turn might have inspired the trope in so far it existed before Rainman.



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06 Jan 2024, 12:15 pm

There was a comedy/drama show that was cancelled called Everythings Gonna Be Okay which had several autistic characters, played by autistic actors and the show was written by an autistic comedian. I've mentioned it before here but no one added anything so i guess no one else saw it.

Anyway it was brilliant, imo. But even in that one of the characters was savant good at piano and wanted to go to Julliard and part of her season 1 arc was getting accepted then discovering her autism wasn't going to let her live in New York on her own. It was really well done.


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enz
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06 Jan 2024, 2:56 pm

so its because its entertaining for someone to have a superpower and also a achilles heel



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06 Jan 2024, 9:40 pm

I find the "autistic savant" stereotype as promoting discrimination against autistic people rather than stopping it. I often worry that it could give neurotypicals an opportunity to milk autistic people's intelligence and treat them like machines. It would feel like being in a freak show. We are not machines, we are not freaks, we are real people with feelings and concerns.

Even highly intelligent autistic people can have traits that go against the "savant" thing. For example, I'm very, very knowledgeable about history (to the point that when I took an IQ test in high school, I got every question right on the history section), but I also have a lot of childish interests - I have a very childish attachment to plush toys.



bee33
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06 Jan 2024, 11:47 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
There was a comedy/drama show that was cancelled called Everythings Gonna Be Okay which had several autistic characters, played by autistic actors and the show was written by an autistic comedian. I've mentioned it before here but no one added anything so i guess no one else saw it.

Anyway it was brilliant, imo. But even in that one of the characters was savant good at piano and wanted to go to Julliard and part of her season 1 arc was getting accepted then discovering her autism wasn't going to let her live in New York on her own. It was really well done.

I loved that show. I couldn't relate to the young girl who was unable to take the subway when she visited New York, because I don't have any problem with that. The main character, who was more subtly affected by his ASD, was more relatable to me, although he was quite social even though he was a bit awkward, and had quite significant close friendships, which I find quite difficult. I suppose that is a good illustration of how different ASD can be.



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07 Jan 2024, 3:38 am

^I'm glad someone else saw it. I think it's one of the better portrayals of autism in TV.


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07 Jan 2024, 7:03 am

DuckHairback wrote:
^I'm glad someone else saw it. I think it's one of the better portrayals of autism in TV.

This show did perpetuate a stereotype of autistic women seeking to fulfill sexual desires in a strictly physical sense. The young woman (Matilda) is shown arranging hookups via Tinder, after having married her asexual girlfriend (apparently she's homoromantic but heteroerotic). I have seen this stereotype in the media before, although from what I've seen on WP it would seem to apply to only a small percentage of autistic women IRL. What surprises me is that this portrayal didn't seem to get any sort of widespread criticism.


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DuckHairback
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07 Jan 2024, 8:13 am

MaxE wrote:
DuckHairback wrote:
^I'm glad someone else saw it. I think it's one of the better portrayals of autism in TV.

This show did perpetuate a stereotype of autistic women seeking to fulfill sexual desires in a strictly physical sense. The young woman (Matilda) is shown arranging hookups via Tinder, after having married her asexual girlfriend (apparently she's homoromantic but heteroerotic). I have seen this stereotype in the media before, although from what I've seen on WP it would seem to apply to only a small percentage of autistic women IRL. What surprises me is that this portrayal didn't seem to get any sort of widespread criticism.


Is that really a stereotype associated with autistic women? I've never heard that before.

I didn't read it like that. I thought Matilda was someone who was kind of rushing to be (what she thought constituted) an adult, coming up against a cultural landscape that is actively deconstructing traditional relationships, and getting very confused along the way.


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07 Jan 2024, 3:40 pm

Might some of the Autistic characters be exhibiting a Special Interest without being a Savant?

That is not being a genius but rather just very focused on a topic.


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MaxE
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07 Jan 2024, 4:04 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
MaxE wrote:
DuckHairback wrote:
^I'm glad someone else saw it. I think it's one of the better portrayals of autism in TV.

This show did perpetuate a stereotype of autistic women seeking to fulfill sexual desires in a strictly physical sense. The young woman (Matilda) is shown arranging hookups via Tinder, after having married her asexual girlfriend (apparently she's homoromantic but heteroerotic). I have seen this stereotype in the media before, although from what I've seen on WP it would seem to apply to only a small percentage of autistic women IRL. What surprises me is that this portrayal didn't seem to get any sort of widespread criticism.


Is that really a stereotype associated with autistic women? I've never heard that before.

I didn't read it like that. I thought Matilda was someone who was kind of rushing to be (what she thought constituted) an adult, coming up against a cultural landscape that is actively deconstructing traditional relationships, and getting very confused along the way.

I do believe that stereotype, or trope, exists, although I'm not motivated to try to prove that. If you saw The Bridge (Alex Plank was a consultant on that) you might recall the autistic female character, Sonya Cross, feeling randy, going to a cowboy bar, and asking the hottest cowboy she saw there if he wanted sex. And I think there have been a couple others. Your reading definitely comes across as more intellectual, but I don't see it that way. When she used Tinder, she wasn't confused — she knew what she wanted (I won't elaborate as this isn't the Adult forum).

Ironically, both my two most serious relationships were with people I believe were on the autism spectrum (the first probably BAP and the second would probably have been diagnosed Level 1 ASD had she been born 40 years later). And both were capable of seeking casual sex for its own sake. Long stories, but I haven't seen many examples on WP, so although I think it's possible, it's still not a good way to characterize "typical" autistic women.

As for the actor on Everything's Gonna be OK, I happen to think her career would be in better shape had she not publicized her autism diagnosis. That won't be a popular opinion on WP. She has a very unusual look and doesn't interview as autistic, so who knows.

As for her character being a piano virtuoso, to my knowledge, basically anyone who becomes famous as a pianist will be a virtuoso at that age, so I wouldn't think that reason to call her a savant. Were she like, non-verbal but able to reproduce any given piano solo after one hearing, and without ever having had lessons, then yes. There are actually people like that.

EDIT here's a thread from 10 years ago:

Claim Promiscuity Is Frequently Observed In Women With AS?


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