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Showing posts from September, 2009

Autism in Media

With the film Adam receiving good reviews, I thought it might be useful to reflect on autism and pop media.Generally, portrayals of autism have resembled what I consider fringe notions of individuals with autism disorders. The depictions are too close to the The Empty Fortress described by Bruno Bettelheim or the long-standing French literary notion that autism is actually extreme
narcissism -- a way to control other people. The "cure" brigade has added to the depictions of autism, unintentionally (or intentionally) feeding into misconceptions about the people with autism.On television, we have had narcissists and criminals. Law & Order: Criminal Intent, has featured an obsessed murderer, Wally Stevens, with Asperger's Syndrome. Stevens, an insurance investigator, was obsessed with patterns and order.When Dr. Gregory House wanted to excuse his narcissism, he left a DSM-IV entry on Asperger's Syndrome marked. While Dr. Wilson, the character's best fri…