Autism spectrum disorder, shortened as ASD, is a neurological condition that affects a person's learning abilities. Normally the signs begin to show, and consequently it is diagnosed, in childhood, and it’s one of the conditions that concern parents the most when they receive the news, as there is popularly a fairly limited or erroneous knowledge about the disorder due once again to the disinformation we have about it.

In summary, ASD is a neurological condition that affects the ability of an individual to adequately relate to their environment, everything and everyone around them, people who suffer from it may have problems with communication, learning knowledge, noise discomfort, a wide variety of other issues, which is why a few years ago it started being called autism spectrum disorder, since the same condition created a great variety of problems depending on the person.

In society, the information that we usually have about this condition, unless we know a family member or acquaintance who suffers from it, usually comes from famous movies and series, which usually generate myths and / or confusion about what it really is. A spectacular example of this is Barry Levison's famous movie Rain Man (1988), where actor Dustin Hoffman plays the role of a person with ASD and Savant syndrome (extraordinary abilities in a certain field such as memory or mathematics).

But all these myths and exceptional cases do not allow us to know what people with this condition really are, and they can create fear, as we have already said, in people close to someone who is diagnosed.

Fortunately, in recent years, more and more series have appeared that try to overthrow this lack of knowledge and show what the lives of people suffering from them are like, their potential and possible ways of relating to them.

One of the series that has drawn the most attention in this regard is Atypical (Atypical), created by Robia Rashid, which premiered in 2018 and tells the life of Sam Garden, an 18-year-old teenager suffering from an autism spectrum disorder. In the series we can see what Sam's day-to-day is like, the problems he encounters in terms of interaction with his family and friends, romantic problems regarding his first love, his high school life, his understanding of the world and personal development to understand himself.

They offer us the opportunity to see first-hand what the life of a person with ASD is like and they teach different guidelines on how we can interact with them and understand their difficulties, although we must bear in mind that each person will be different. Created with the collaboration of writers and actors suffering from the same disorder, Atypical has received astonishing reviews for the realism of the problems and for how they manage to transmit the information regarding the usual problems, so much so that it currently has 3 seasons available and has been renewed for the fourth and last season.

Atypical is an interactive and good way to learn about ASD, for parents and relatives as well as acquaintances or people who are simply curious. They remove the stigma associated with the disorder and allow us to enter their world in an exceptional way, with comic, dramatic, serious, and realistic touches all at once. For people who do not have reliable information about ASD, or who are curious to learn more, this series represents a perfect opportunity for it.

Tommy Gyran Norheim
Division of Psychology, Psychotherapy and Coaching
Tommy Gyran Norheim
Adults and adolescents
Languages: English, Spanish and Norwegian
See Resumé