I heard about the play, All in a Row, the other day. Specifically, I read what the writer had to say about deciding that the character of an autistic boy with “challenging behaviour” could only be portrayed by a puppet.
I know so many autistic people who have dedicated many years to overcoming society’s prejudices, fighting against the dehumanisation and othering of autistic children and adults.
And then we saw this. Among a cast of real humans, played by human actors, the single autistic is indelibly marked as an outsider. Perhaps he can, like Pinocchio, dream of one day becoming a real boy, but for now he’s cast out of humanity.
It’s hard to express just how painful it is as an autistic person to see someone who is essentially like you–the character with whom you have the most in common–portrayed this way. To be dehumanised, an empty, soulless…
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