Autism in the Media: Representation and Misrepresentation

Ref: C3533111

It is thirty three years since Rainman (1988) brought Dustin Hoffman to our screens as Raymond Babbit the autistic savant. However, how far have representations of autism progressed over the past three decades? In this lecture, we will discuss the way that the media of film, television, cartoons and social medic both represents and possibly misrepresents individuals with autism. We will see how certain stereotypes or tropes are perpetuated, and how the autistic character may have replaced other time served characters used in drama and popular fiction. The lecture will also examine how media representations of autism may affect attitudes and expectations, that could lead to inadvertent discrimination for people with autism.

Course aim

To provide a basic overview of how autism is represented and misrepresented in the media.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • name at least two films that include an individual with autism.
  • list at least two stereotypes of autism that may be represented by the media.
  • be more aware of how media representations of autism may affect attitudes towards people with autism.
  • consider how the media may improve its representation of and inclusion of autistic people.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an interactive lecture, so a good connection to the internet will be required.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Autism in the Media: Representation and Misrepresentation

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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