Nordahl-Hansen, Tøndevold & Fletcher-Watson (2017): Mental health on screen: A DSM-5 dissection of portrayals of autism spectrum disorders in film and TV
I: Psychiatry Research, Online first
Anders Nordahl-Hansen, Magnus Tøndervold & Sue Fletcher-Watson
Portrayals of characters with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in films and TV series are subject to intense debate over whether such representations are accurate. Inaccurate portrayals are a concern as they may lead to increased stereotypes toward the condition. We investigate whether portrayals of characters with autism spectrum disorder in film and TV-series align with DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Our data show that characterspresent a full range of characteristics described in the DSM-5. The meaning of this finding is discussed in relation to potential educational value of on screen portrayals and the notion of authenticity in representing the autistic experience.