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Autism in Pop Culture

As mentioned in a previous article, the storylines and scenes which revolve around characters that have Autism have the chance to connect with their audience when the research is utilized.  Another way that those characters can be relatable is by the relationships that they make with their family and friends.  With them, these following movies and television episodes, all of which can be streamed on Amazon Video, could be considered as additional examples of portraying people with Autism and similar special needs.

1) Lifetime’s 2004 TV film, Miracle Run, features Mary-Louise Parker as Corrine, the mother of twin boys who are diagnosed with autism, and also Zac Efron (before his break-out role in High School Musical) as Steven, one of her twins.  Corrine’s love for her children, as well as her perseverance to make a good life for them, influences both Steven and his brother Phillip to pursue their own interests.  When each of them encounter an obstacle-Phillip becoming nervous during his in-person audition for a music school and Steven seeing a girl he has a crush on with another boy right before he’s about to compete in a cross-country race, each of them find the courage and self-confidence to pick themselves up.

2) One of Sesame Street’s recent episodes, “Meet Julia,” introduces the title character by means presenting the friendships she has with Elmo and Abby and later gains with Big Bird.  Meanwhile, Big Bird’s developing friendship with Julia incorporates a progression of understanding of Autism for Big Bird and also the intended audience with moments that reflect some of its characteristics.  Those moments include Julia and her friends creating a new game called “boing tag” and Julia’s response to the loud sirens that unexpectedly appear.

3) Throughout the 2017 Power Rangers movie, Billy Cranston, who becomes the Blue Ranger, is a major influence within the development of the Power Rangers.  His loyalty to his new friends is shown when he becomes the first to morph into his armor as he stops a fight among the training Power Rangers.  In turn, they are later inspired by him and his joy of becoming a Power Ranger to join together as a team to battle Rita Repulsa and protect the planet Earth.

With the close bonds among family and friends, these fictional portrayals also create a bond among the audience as they watch the relationships shape during the movies and television episodes and inspire those characters.

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