Short report: Autistic adults' recommendations on how to improve autistic portrayals in TV-series and movies

Stian Orm, Michelle Dean, Sue Fletcher-Watson, Anders Nordahl-Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: TV-series and movies are important sources of knowledge about autism for the general public.

AIMS: This study's purpose was to elicit autistic adults' opinions on portrayals of autistic characters in film and television productions and how this can be improved.

METHODS AND PROCEDURE: In this study, we examined the recommendations of autistic adults (n = 798, M age = 30.3, 48% female) and non-autistic adults (n = 1463, M age = 35.0, 62% female) from 90 countries on how film and television productions can improve autistic portrayals.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Autistic adults rated three improvement factors as most important: (1) Appointing autistic writers, (2) Having an autistic consultant, and (3) Representing greater diversity in autistic characters. Compared to the non-autistic groups, autistic adults rated "Appointing autistic writers" as more important. Autistic participants also endorsed "Having an autism-expert consultant" and "Making the character display all relevant diagnostic criteria" significantly less than non-autistic groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Participants strongly endorsed that autistic adults should to a much larger extent be included as writers, consultants and actors to enhance the making of autistic characters in film and TV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104484
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume136
Early online date21 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2023

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