So Atypical is out on Netflix, and I was planning on working up my courage to watch it and do a nice in depth review. But then in depth reviews were released by autistic people so I didn't have to.
This thread on twitter in depth reviewed the show scene by scene, just reading it, I could barely stomach it; Absolutely horrifying: https://twitter.com/disabilisaur/status/896043362792419328
It really upset me, not because I was really surprised- even though I was in a way, but because it made me aware of how much we still have to work on in society. How much we're still ignored or seen as other in society.
I was in no way expecting this show to be good. They completely left autistic people out of it, from consultation to casting a neurotypical actor over an autistic one, I knew it would be inaccurate at best. But this, this is worse than even I could've imagined. This is offensive, disgusting, and probably one of the most inaccurate portrayals I've seen of autism, ever. It is so bad that someone said they related to the neurotypical sister more than Sam. That just shows you how terrible this show is.
I was hoping there'd be some tolerable things about it, and the bad would be less, ya know, bad. I was hoping I could have a nice list of critiques so I could write to the producers on what they should fix. But it's impossible, there is too much. This show is full of bad- literally, the only thing anyone complimented the show on is the unique special interest in penguins, but his special interests are shamed, the message is you should love people who don't like your interests and you should tone down your excitement for them. Good God, did they meet with the head of ABA for this show? It's disgusting, and beyond offensive, and I'm ashamed that Netflix would pick this up at all.
But this is not the time to lose hope or feel down or defeated. In times like this, we cannot stay silent, and we cannot hold back. Boycott this show, do what you can- message the producers, message Netflix, get shows like this off the air. This show is already out there, but we can stop it from getting a second season of ableist nightmares.
And now is a time more than ever to share your stories, pitch your stories, embrace whatever creative passion you have, support autistic creators, and be apart of the change. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced, we have authentic autistic voices and we can use them or we can keep them in. The choice is up to us.
Whatever you can do, do it. It is the duty of autistic people to change this. To be advocates in whatever way we can. We have enough shit on us in society, the last thing we need is another crappy show promoting the idea that we're robotic, violent, unlovable, burdens, and good for nothing. We are some of the most successful, loving, lively people you will ever meet. Most autistic people go completely under the radar because we first off, are nothing like the stereotypes proposed of us, and second, we, in a lot of ways, appear and go about our days just like you. We're not just like you in other ways, but we are all human, so let's embrace our differences but also look at what we have in common. Autistic people are getting diagnosed more and more, soon there will be as many open autistic people in society as there are allistic ones, there will be no choice but to learn about us and listen to us, because nobody but us can teach you about us. Our brains are wired differently, but humans all fall on some spectrum, there are things that bring us together and make us different. In fact, our differences are the one thing that we all have in common. If nobody is normal like we all like to live by, then why are we teaching autistic people they need to strive for something that doesn't exist? What makes us unique is what gives us an advantage, we are some of the best artists, thinkers, inventors, creators, discoverers, and voices in this world right now. We will not be ignored.
My fellow autistics, we will scream, we will scream until we go hoarse. We will make them listen. Because if we don't let it out no one will know. Change doesn't happen unless it's worked upon. We are the change.
And don't doubt for a second your voice doesn't matter, because it does, and change does happen. If not slowly, but definitely surely. Change happens, and it's happening right now, but only because of us. Only because of us.
Here is an article on Atypical by the amazing Mickey Rowe, an autistic actor who is changing the game. I have no doubt he's going to do big things, because he already is, and he's opening so many doors for not just autistic actors and performers, but autistic people in general.
Slowly but surely, it's getting better. It goes backwards but not for long. We are getting there. Change is a ripple affect, one little voice can create big change. Don't doubt you can create big change. The change may just begin with you.
The #actuallyatypical hashtag on twitter. A+. Gives me hope.
Update of the update:
Another good twitter thread- https://twitter.com/rboren/status/896822448536072193
NOS Magazine is reviewing all the episodes and it's excellent
Update 2: Electric Boogaloo:
The amazing invisible strings hit the nail on the head https://twitter.com/m_kelter/status/897477059752099841
So many updates: