These TV shows portray characters on the autism spectrum

By Meghan Pryce

Published April 2, 2020


April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to celebrate people with autism and also to recognize the rights and challenges they face.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can impair social and communication skills.


In honor of Autism Awareness Month, here are six television shows that feature characters on the spectrum and portray what it's like living with autism and raising a child with the brain disorder.



The NBC series about four siblings and their lives as parents features the character Max Braverman, who has Asperger's syndrome. Max's storyline shows his family's struggle to cope with the diagnosis and how he progresses as he gets older.



The Netflix series features high schooler Sam Gardner who’s on a mission to assert his independence and start dating.


"The Good Doctor"

ABC’s “The Good Doctor” centers around Dr. Shaun Murphy, a surgical resident who has autism and savant syndrome. Despite being doubted by his colleagues and sometimes even patients, Murphy uses his gifts to save lives.


"The A Word"

The series, which is available on Amazon Prime, portrays 5-year-old Joe Hughes and how his family comes to terms with his autism diagnosis.


"Everything’s Gonna Be Okay"

Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, according to the CDC. Not only does this Freeform series offer a female perspective, but actress Kayla Cromer, who plays Matilda, is on the spectrum herself.


“Sesame Street”

The children's program, which airs on HBO, introduced a muppet with autism: Julia. Throughout the years, the show has made an effort to bring on inclusive characters. Julia's addition to the block shows what autism can look like and how it can be difficult for her to communicate with others.

Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP