Is The Good Doctor a Good Representation of Autism?

I think The Good Doctor has the potential to be an incredible show. Let’s begin with the cast. Freddie Highmore (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) plays the starring role of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a new surgeon who also happens to have autism as well as savant syndrome. This is a challenging role for anyone to play considering how broad the autism spectrum truly is.

In many autism-related projects, producers strive for realism by portraying these autistic characters while sometimes not having a good understanding of the individuality of each person that is on the spectrum. It’s a thin line. The Good Doctor does a great job of navigating this line. Freddie does exceptionally well in his debut, showing many characteristics that can come along with an autism diagnosis like lack of eye contact, social awkwardness, and playing with his hands in stressful situations.

There is a broader discussion about hiring people with disabilities that is important for people to see on TV. I was so glad to see this conversation happening on a national prime time television show.

All in all, I’d give The Good Doctor a solid A+. I’ve only seen the first episode, but I’ll be excited to see where it goes from here. As a show portraying an adult with autism, I’d say it does a remarkable job.

Autism and Addiction: Gaining an Understanding

While people who have autism tend to have lower rates of substance use disorder than people without, a new study from Washington University School of Medicine has found the opposite is true. They studied over 3,000 Australian twins, and they found that those who had symptoms of autism were more likely than those without to abuse marijuana and alcohol.

People who are on the autism spectrum are a difficult group to conduct studies with. The spectrum includes a wide range of people with a wide range of symptoms. Some of them happen to be on the milder side with symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. In some cases, these symptoms may actually go undiagnosed. So in this study, researchers were focusing on individuals who have symptoms that are related to autism. These symptoms are things like social interaction difficulties, a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors, and communication challenges. So the researchers were trying to see the correlation between substance abuse and these symptoms.

What they found in the study was that people who do have symptoms of autism are no more likely to abuse substances than people without. However, people with symptoms of autism who do abuse substances are much more likely to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The key difference here is diagnosis and symptoms. The study found that those who have symptoms of autism as opposed to those who have a diagnosis of autism are more likely to have substance abuse and addiction issues.

So what does this mean? This means you need to be aware of the signs of substance abuse and addiction. Is your loved one acting more isolated than usual? Is he or she trying to hide their substance abuse? Does he or she often smell like alcohol or marijuana? These are all things that you need to be aware of.

If you suspect that your loved one may have substance abuse issues, you may need to pursue drug addiction treatment at a local rehabilitation facility. The Recovery Village in Ohio is an excellent option that you may want to look into.

The important thing to remember is that your loved one is not alone. There are plenty of people with autism symptoms who struggle with substance abuse. The most important thing you can do for your loved one is make sure that he or she has a way to pursue the necessary treatment. Life with autism symptoms is challenging enough. Having substance abuse issues adds unnecessary complications.