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Battling Autism Stereotypes on TV

July 15, 2013

Last night on Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey, a character said, "Autism is not so bad a disease, some of those guys are like geniuses." What would you do if someone said that to you? 

Find out more about autism here.

Here are some comments from the community:

Sharon Randhawa: "Laughing, ignoring and being angry would not be a solution to his lack of knowledge. He has probably read snipits of Autism-related articles or heard it in passing to state a very general statement. I would probably just correct him and give more information. As great as we are of creating public knowledge and awareness, doing it effectively is the hardest and still a challenge. And like someone has already said, I don't think it comes from a mean place-- more education is required!"

Natasha Lyn: "My son Nicholas is 15 and has autism. For a long time I have struggled with the idea that others do not accept my son and his behaviors. They say random things like, "I've heard they are really intelligent"...Just keeping it real, if I had not had an autistic son I too may not understand and may make silly comments. Professionals are textbook trained, they do not spend tim we with our special people. I'm thankful that my boy has shown me a different way. The world is slow to accept anything that is different from societal norms. I know in my heart that no one will love and accept him like me:) and that's ok."

Sydney Sorkin: "I would be offended, then hope that someone clues him in on his ignorance. I get worked up easily and am not the best communicator when I'm worked up."

Brenda Burpee: "FIRST walk a mile in their shoes"

Beverly Perry: "Wow....not even sure where to begin with this question. As the mother of two boys with Autism it has not been an easy road and thats putting it very, very, very mildly. No, it is not a disease but rather a disability. It affects not only the autistic but the entire family. Life is not normal and everything must be altered to accommodate the autistic. I say, lets let this guy watch some of our kids for the weekend and see if his story doesnt change its tune. His attempt at summarizing Autism was very bad."

Eric Schimmoeller: "My reply to that would be: Do you live with a loved one whose has autism? Feel the mental pain as a parent seeing your child with this disease."