Why autism is important in media
Out of 68 American kids, one is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. These kids are often bullied in school, and they are frequently excluded from social groups. Many kids use autism as an insult when making fun of other people, and there are many jokes and memes about the disorder on the Internet. Part of this could be because historically, the media would show autism in a negative light. For example, portrayed as a strange sidekick to an evil villain, the character Raymond Babbit in Rain Man has autism. If the media gave autism more positive spotlight, people might begin to realize how awesome people with autism really can be.
In the past decade, Symmetra is only one of 10 autistic characters found in a video game. It’s so nice to see that the media is starting to advocate more for people with autism. Recently, there have been many positive examples of autism in entertainment. This year, there was a Power Ranger with autism named Billy in the new movie remake of the classic Power Rangers series. For the younger kids, the popular show Sesame Street recently introduced a Muppet with autism, named Julia. We’re grateful that these well-loved classics are taking a stand to change the stigma surrounding autism.