In reality, 25 percent of autistic people are non-verbal and 54 percent of them have an IQ below 85. It's not easy to fit those stories on TV, though. And when high-functioning, "media-friendly" autistic people are depicted on television, they're about as far from "accurate" as Big Bang Theory is from "comedy."
Nina Mason: "QUICK: I say 'autistic person in television,' you think ... who? Probably Sheldon from Big Bang Theory or Sherlock from A Show Definitely Not Named for the Main Character. Neither is a good representation of autism, starting with the fact that both are very sarcastic men, and most people with autism cannot understand sarcasm."
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"There's actually a sort of Voight-Kampff test for Asperger's syndrome ... in which you get read this story where Bob takes Sally to a restaurant that's supposed to be great, and the food and service turn out to be a disaster. At the end of the story, Sally says, 'Yeah, this sure was a great restaurant you took me to.' Most people recognize that she's being a smartass. People with Asperger's (and some forms of autism) will say that she's lying so she doesn't hurt Bob's feelings."