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TV has come a long way in depicting characters with autism, but not far enough

For too long, Dustin Hoffman's Oscar-winning portrayal of Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man was the only touchstone many of us had for autism.

While Hoffman's performance was met with resounding applause, a consequence of the movie's success was that it created an autism trope that the movie and TV industries were loath to shake.

So many films – The Accountant, Mercury Rising, Mozart the Whale, Little Man Tate, Silent Fall among them – have served up characters who were withdrawn, but had savant-like powers.

Like Rain Man, they perpetuated common stereotypes: autistic people struggle with eye contact and communication, lack empathy and can't read social cues.


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http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/tv-has-come-a-long-way-in-depicting-characters-with-autism-but-not-far-enough-20170911-gyewze.html
Date
30th November -0001
Source
Sydney Morning Herald