So many days off for the Jewish holidays gives us a lot of free time. I spent my time off binge-watching a new Netflix show called Atypical. It follows the story of a boy named Sam, who has autism spectrum disorder, his family, and his path to growing up and moving into adulthood. As someone that is greatly impacted by autism every day, I was intrigued by the idea of this show. I was skeptical of its accuracy at first, but as I continued to watch, I realized that most scenes and character traits were well researched and well-thought-out.
What I took from this show was not just Sam’s struggles, but the struggles of everyone around him as well. His sister Casey is often frustrated with Sam because he has to be the center of attention, and she doesn’t get the spotlight she often deserves. Sam is a difficult kid, with meltdowns and uncomfortable social situations making up a large part of his daily routine. While this makes his and his family’s life hard and stressful, the show focuses a lot on all of the funny and intelligent things that Sam does. He says the funniest things and has memorized every fact about Antarctica. This show highlights all of the amazing things that Sam can do despite his disability.
I think this show accurately portrays autism spectrum disorder and really gets into Sam’s head. I also like the focus on Sam’s friends and family, especially his sister Casey. It shows how Casey and Sam can still have a typical sibling relationship, even though it may be a little bit different than most. They still fight like typical brothers and sisters, but Casey is always looking out for him, whether it’s through giving him his lunch money or protecting him from bullies. I would recommend this show to anyone interested in autism portrayed in a warm-hearted and interesting way.