Is Asperger's Hollywood's Disease du Jour?

Recent movies and novels place the disorder front and center.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Name one film that involves someone with Asperger's syndrome. And it can't be Rain Man. Cat got your tongue? Well, after this summer season, the task might get a little easier: from animation (Mary and Max) to a rom-com (Adam), movies — and even some novels — are giving men with Asperger's the leading role. With the new interest in this autism spectrum disorder, The Takeaway is left wondering: how do such films affect the community they portray? We've asked David Corcoran and David Edelstein to help us start this conversation. Corcoran is health editor at The New York Times, where he worked on the piece about Asperger's in today's Science Times, Asperger's Syndrome, On Screen and in Life. Edelstein is chief film critic for New York Magazine.

Here's the trailer for "Max and Mary":


David Corcoran and David Edelstein

Hosted by:

Amy Holmes


Molly Webster

Comments [4]


To Sandy B:

Take heart by now 22 yr.old son struggled all through school socially and was not diagnosed until he was 16.
He was the first Asperger's student to graduate from his university ...He has a BSc in Film....His obsession.
He reads books on facial expressions and really studies faces and body language. He knows this is his weakness and is determined to not let this disability completely paralyze him.
He has not yet had a real date but I think it will happen later.
Anyway, my point is your son will have to make a commitment to himself to try to overcome as much as possible.
Of course, it all depends on the extent of his Asperger's because some are more high-functioning than others.

Aug. 08 2009 03:21 PM
Sandy B

As a parent who is getting ready to take their son off to college.... I am inspired by movies that depict the character in a somewhat positive light. The biggest issue that effects people with Aspergers is the fear of the unknown. Our son is funny, loving and extremely caring. He is often very lonely because people don't get to know him. Wouldn't it be great if the movie changes people in such a way as to get to know them better. I think it's a positive thing for everyone. I hope my son is given a chance in school.

Aug. 07 2009 11:54 AM
David D

Glenn Gould was supposed to have had Asperger's and this is touched on in the 1993 documentary of his life, Les Variacions Gould.

Aug. 04 2009 10:49 PM
Big Talkers

I hope Femi Oke is just on holiday, great to her her fill-in adding her hacking cough to the piece on Swine Flu.

Aug. 04 2009 09:53 AM

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