Teaching little Professors: Autism Spectrum on TV and in the Classroom



Publication Details

McMahon-Coleman, K. (2017). Teaching little Professors: Autism Spectrum on TV and in the Classroom. In E. Janak & L. A. Sourdot (Eds.), Educating through Popular Culture: You're Not Cool Just Because You Teach with Comics (pp. 145-160). United Kingdom: Lexington Books.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9781498549172


A rudimentary understanding of some of the atypical behaviors displayed by students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be gleaned from watch­ing popular television representations of individuals commonly believed to be on the autism spectrum. A number of popular culture television programs, such as Bones and The Big Bang Theory (from the United States) and Doc Martin (from the United Kingdom) feature characters who.are often read by audiences as featuring characteristics that are symptomatic of autism. These cultural references provide an opportunity and a language to discuss such characteristics, and to understand how to accommodate them socially and in classrooms. This is a strategy that I have used to initiate conversations about the traits and learning needs of students on the spectrum with both my uni­versity colleagues and pre-service teachers at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

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