Anoushay Okhai for gal-dem.

I tend to tell new people that I’m diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome fairly quickly. I see it as pragmatic. They get a slightly better idea of how my brain works, they can help me with things that I find more difficult, and they understand why Leicester Square’s crowds are my personal seventh circle of hell.

Since moving to university, I’ve had to explain autistic spectrum disorder (ASD, formerly two separate categories consisting of “Asperger’s syndrome” and “autism”) to nearly every friend I’ve made. It makes sense; public exposure to neurodivergence, let alone ASD specifically, is sparse. Though representation is rising with shows like Atypical and Young Sheldonautistic characters are usually men, and almost invariably white. ASD has a plethora of variables, and factors like gender and race can vastly impact the experiences of autistic people. Yet, in television and movies, only these specific presentations and circumstances are illustrated.