3 Educative shows about Autism on Netflix

By Chege Karomo — ON Jan 26, 2022

The importance of representation on Netflix cannot be understated. It’s empowering to see your story told on such a huge platform. Representation also sensitizes people to others’ experiences and what we can do to make the world a better place for them. You are more likely to learn about autism through a show or film than by reading about it. 

Autistic representation still needs improving, but platforms like Netflix have added shows that tell stories about people with autism. 

The three shows about autism on Netflix listed below have received some criticism, but their educative value eclipses any faults they might have. 

Atypical (2017-2021)

Atypical

“Normal is overrated,’ reads Atypical’s poster. The comedy-drama tells the story of Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old man on the autism spectrum looking to explore the world. 

Season 1 of the show garnered positive reviews, but it also received criticism for inaccurate depictions of autism. The show’s lack of autistic actors also attracted disapproval. 

Season 2 featured autistic writers and actors, leading to a show that provided a more accurate portrayal of autism. Consequently, the show’s rating improved. 

The four seasons of Atypical bring out the joys and trials of autism, not only on Sam but also on his family.

Love on the Spectrum (2019- )

Love on the Spectrum

Love on the Spectrum is an Australian show that explores the dating lives of autistic people. It explores the unique challenges that autistic people face regarding dating, romance, and relationships. 

The show interviews real people, offering a sense of realism that you can’t get from fictional shows. Its stars answer questions about their dating lives as they socialize and go on dates. 

Viewers see real people with real stories untainted by showrunners. It is difficult to find authentic autistic narratives on screen, but Love on the Spectrum provides them. 

It’s also nice to see love triumph among some of the cast. 

The Good Doctor (2017- )

The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor tells the story of St. Bonaventure Hospital’s star surgical resident Shaun Murphy. Murphy is an excellent doctor, but he struggles to fit in because he’s on the autism spectrum. 

Fellow professionals question his ability, even when he comes up with innovative solutions to problems. Shaun struggles to connect emotionally with his colleagues and patients, which some use as ammunition to advocate for his expulsion. 

The Good Doctor is more of a drama than an educative show about autism, but it can teach the viewer a lot about the condition.