Autistic representation in media

I used to sometimes joke (somewhat tastelessly I’m sure) that there are three categories of autistic people systematically underrepresented in media, at least news media. Those being

  1. autistic adults
  2. autistic girls
  3. autistic boys whose name is something other than Daniel

The last one probably never had any basis in fact, but a decade or so ago I could have sworn I could have made a regular drinking game around the autistic boy in the inspiration porn turns out to be Daniel someone or other. I think the news media have (as was inevitable) discovered autistic adults. But I think that this has come with a very strict editorial policy that the definition of autism (for journalistic purposes) basically amounts to dual-diagnosis cases that include an autism spectrum disorder and also an intellectual disability. (I hope I didn’t use a functioning label). It seems one of the hard constraints on American society, and the American economy in particular, is that disability (for occupational purposes) has to include at least one of physical or intellectual. There is no such thing as a non-physical, non-intellectual disability. If there were, then certain people would be able to “double dip”, that is, benefit from programs for people with disabilities, ranging from sheltered employment to SSI to school accommodations and more, but also enjoy some measure of “the life of the mind”, whether that means leading a somewhat examined life, having a few opinions of one’s own, being a serious candidate for a job with responsibilities, or the simple dignity of having the baseline level of credibility that comes with the functioning label called “competent.” More to the point, if there were such an area of overlap, such a Venn-diagram intersection to put it in the nerd vernacular, it would be hard not to ask the question of whether there’s anything meritocratic about a job market in which virtually all paid employments at all levels come with social filters such as job interviews, let alone a de-facto requirement for “networking” or even something as aggressive as “elevator pitches.” It would be hard to maintain the pretense inherent in saying “earning a living” when one means “winning a living.”

About n8chz

पृथ्वी की उच्च किराया जिले में उद्यमिता कौशल अभाव
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