Have you noticed all the new entertainment media being made with autism as a subtext or all-out main plot? No, you probably have not, and that's because the American Entertainment Industrial Complex doesn't want to use that dirty little word, "autism," even when they are capitalizing on our growing knowledge of it, exposure to it, and a lot of people's fear of it.
Interested in seeing an awesome new Tom Hanks/ Sandra Bullock movie about a high-functioning autisic child and his parents facing the traumas of 9/11 and the modern world? One is coming out this Friday, but nowhere in it's official release information will you ever hear or read that the child in it has aspergers. He does though. That's one of the truamas of the modern world.
How about a new network drama with Keiffer Sutherland that features a dad raising his autistic son who has (in true Fox fashion) a kind of spooky and otherworldly gift for decoding the future with numbers? It doesn't look like my cup of tea, but just FYI, the only way you'll know the kid in it has autism is from a parent like me, or an autism medical professional. It's never spoken of in the series description of dialog. It's pretty obvious, but hush hush.
You might think you haven't many movies featuring autistic individuals in the past, but you might be wrong. Have you seen:
I Am Sam
As Good As it Gets
All these are major motion pictures with characters on the spectrum which never mention the "A" word. Yes, all along, despite wonderful recent films like The Black Balloon (watch it watch watch it!), Adam and Temple Grandin, there have been films about "it," and I don't mean Rain Man.
For more fun with people speaking the big messy truth about autism, go to the heart of expertise and give to The Loud Hands Project, a new transmedia project of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (a nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people, drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community to organize the Autistic community and advance our voices in the national conversation about autism).