This is a great trend I am seeing now on TV. Prime time, syndicated and streaming networks are all bringing series to us where there is a child with special needs as a star. We know our kids are stars, now we can have viewers everywhere see a glimpse into our days and hope that it is something they can learn from.
I am a little worried about how they will all be portrayed, if it will be “real” and how it will be received, But, I am sure of one thing, it is better to be included and, it is a start!
Here is a list of the shows on and a few in the works. If I have missed any, please let me know.
Are you watching any? What do you think so far?
I have watched Speechless. I am super impressed with the “realness” and the message shared. I think this is a great show that we can relate to as well as those without a special needs child being able to learn from.
This show is on ABC and is about a family with a special-needs child. Minnie Driver is INCREDIBLE as the mom, I laugh, cry and rewind all the time. J.J. is a teen with special needs, he uses a communication board to “talk” as he is “Speechless”. I think it addresses the challenges of all in the family with great accuracy.
This series is a Netflix original. It is being called a comedy series. “Atypical,” is about Sam, a teenage boy with autism spectrum disorder. It is slotted as an eight-episode series starring Keir Gilchrist as Sam and Jennifer Jason Leigh as his mom. I have not seen anything on this one, and I do not believe that the actor portraying Sam is on the spectrum, but I am curious to watch.
Born This Way
On A & E and renewed for another season, this Emmy Award Winner follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome. The stars of this series are pursuing their passions and lifelong dreams. They are exploring friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society’s expectations. I have not seen this show, but the reviews from real parents have been very positive.
The A Word
This show is a BBC drama and is based on Yellow Peppers by Keren Margalit. The series follows a 5-year-old boy and how his dysfunctional family cope with his autism. It is a six-part series and began airing on 22 March 2016.
I LOVED this show, loved all of the characters and strongly recommend a binge watch when you can!
This show originally aired on NBC. It is about the ups and downs of three generations of the Braverman family.
Parenthood tackled so many real family issues all while including a family member with Asperger’s. We watch Max grow up and deal with life issues and how a child on the spectrum may have to deal with them.
Max’s parents are amazing in the expressing of emotions, needs for advocacy and the “realness” of our lives.
Life Goes On
Life Goes On aired on ABC in 1989. Corky Thatcher, played by Chris Burke, stars as the main character at the start of his High School career. He has Down syndrome and the show revolves around him and his family.
If there are others, please share. We’d love to add them .