Hollywood and Asperger's | Alex Simon

January 10, 2015 10:56 PM

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Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger disorder (AD) or simply Asperger's, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981 and went through a period of popularization, becoming standardized as a diagnosis in the early 1990s. As the popularization grew, so did the depiction of Asperger's in movies and television, with varying degrees of accuracy and taste. Quite often these depictions are demeaning and offensive to people with Asperger Syndrome.

Adam (2009) Arguably the most realistic and sympathetic portrayal of Asperger's put on film to date, Adam (Hugh Dancy) is a shy and isolated young man living with Asperger's Syndrome in New York City. When he develops a friendship with his pretty neighbor Beth (Rose Byrne), a kind-hearted kindergart...

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