The entire cast of Community will return for the fourth season. Alison Brie (Annie) says that doing the show without its fired aspie creator will be different:
Dan Harmon was so instrumental in everything that went on with the show, and was the cause of most of the relentless innovation.
Parenthood producer Jason Katims talked to Entertainment Weekly about how happy he was with the storyline last season between Max and Amber:
There was the other really nice storyline with Amber and Max. I loved seeing those two characters together, where she helped him and at school he was being punished because he had gotten into a fight with his cousin. It was a really touching story where she helped figure out how to have Max apologize to Jabar for what he did. In doing so, Amber herself started to understand what some of the difficulties were with Max’s learning differences. There was also that really funny story where Adam was trying to dress in different clothes to look like somebody who he wasn’t. And it just gave this story — not only did it have this emotional impact, but it was also humorous. There was a lot going on.
Alphas begins its second season July 23, and autistic Gary may be starting it in an institution. Check out a preview here.
Sheldon's inability to get a haircut upsets his entire life on tonight's repeat of The Big Bang Theory.
Click here to see Kaley Cuoco (Penny) on the cover of Maxim Australia cover and watch video from the photo shoot.
Mayim Bialik says that she and her character Amy Farrah Fowler have a lot in common:
"I'm pretty similar to Amy," she added. "I'm definitely on the spectrum of socially awkward. I'm not as fashion-challenged as Amy, even in my normal life when I'm not dressed by a stylist! But I think a lot of her sweetness and her trying hard is something that's definitely part of me and I do draw on that a lot for her."
Producer Jason Katims means to make the case for giving an Emmy nomination to Max Burkholder, who plays a boy with Asperger's syndrome on his show Parenthood. Instead, he reveals his contempt for autistic people:
Early in the series, I asked our show's Asperger's "consultant" -- a therapist with 20 years of experience working with kids who struggle with the disease -- if he felt he really understood what went on in the minds of kids with Asperger's. He answered candidly, "No, I don't." I asked him that question because after 15 years, my son, who has Asperger's, is still very much a mystery to me. There are moments where he can be lucid and expressive, but very often I am left guessing. It was so daunting for me to attempt to shed light on these mysteries in Parenthood, so much so that Max's storyline floated in and out of the pilot episode. It was tempting to remove the challenges of exploring this intensely complicated and dark material and just make him a cute kid who's simply a bit irascible. Must I burden the character, and viewers, with a lifelong, life-altering disorder?
So, you don't understand how people with Asperger's think, huh?
No, of course not-- Much better to hire a neurotypical expert. Asking us would be treating us as human beings, and that might prevent things like people torturing us and keeping up in cages. It might stop our lives from being such "intensely complicated and dark" material. Can't have that.
Mr. Katims has never considered the possibility that autistic people watch TV:
At a very young age, Max has done more than just entertain (he does manage to find humor in the role): He has helped families understand kids like Max Braverman -- families who, through watching Parenthood, have diagnosed and recognized their own child, grandchild, brother or nephew in the character.
I wish it was possible to do something about this, but it isn't. Mr Katims is a bigoted creep, but no one really cares about bigotry toward autistic people. Most parents LOVE the show because it turns the aspie kid into an object and makes everything all about the NT "real" people-- just the way Autism Speaks does. Just the way most of them do.
Having an autistic kid does not mean that you automatically understand and respect autistic people.
I have mixed feelings about both of NBC's autism-related announcements regarding next year's TV season.
Parenthood will be back for a fourth season, which is basically a good thing because the show's depiction of a child with Asperger's syndrome has gotten better and better. But it's annoying personally, because I really don't like it, and it's too relevant to the thAutcast beat for me to completely ignore it.
Community is one of three shows that NBC announced simultaneously that it was both renewing and canceling:
The struggling Peacock network is taking a new direction with its primetime lineup, and that means cleaning house. Until this week, the once-dominant network had been suspiciously mum on its plans for next season. That all changed with a giant info dump from NBC execs which included the fates of veteran sitcoms “30 Rock,” “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.”
All three critical darlings will be given abbreviated “send off” seasons followed by immediate termination. Despite receiving generally favorable reviews, NBC’s long-running Thursday comedy lineup has never garnered stellar ratings. The limited order of 13 episodes for each show must have seen like a good compromise solution for the network that has seen itself slide from first to fourth place over the last decade.
I have very complicated feelings about this. I have mostly loved Community since it got from its midseason hiatus this year, and I think the fact that Dan Harmon is an openly autistic showrunner is amazing. And Abed is a wonderful character who has been created at the edge of what is possible in terms of comedic representation of autism right now . But the show has been so inconsistent, with great episodes alternating with misfires, that I think this strategy might be a way to keep it at its current creative peak, and maybe even allow it move on to become something else.
Please stop lying about autism and divorce.
Please. It might be a matter of life and death.
Let's start with the facts:
Brian Freedman, PhD, lead author of the study and clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute, said the findings seem to debunk a lot of the general understanding about high divorce rates among parents of children with autism. Dr. Freedman and his research team found that 64 percent of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) belong to a family with two married biological or adoptive parents, compared with 65 percent of children who do not have an ASD.
Dr. Freedman will present results of the study in Philadelphia at the International Meeting for Autism Research, an annual scientific meeting convened to exchange new scientific progress among autism researchers from around the world.
Receiving the news of a child’s autism diagnosis can be devastating, and Dr. Freedman said the pain is compounded as parents ponder what will happen to them as a couple. “In the work I’ve done with children with autism, I’ve come across many couples who quote this 80 percent divorce rate to me. They don’t know what the future holds for their child, and feel a sense of hopelessness about the future of their marriage as well — almost like getting a diagnosis of autism and a diagnosis of divorce at the same time,” he said.
Despite the fact that no one has any research whatsoever to back up the 80% figure, it refuses to die. Hannah Brown put it out there yesterday on The Huffington Post in a piece called "10 Things to Do After an Autism Diagnosis":
2. If you are the parent taking on the task of managing the child's care (in the vast majority of cases, the mother), make sure you get paid. That's right: No matter how tight money is, you and your spouse should pay you a caregiver's salary, even if it's minimum wage. Pay it on the books, so you get Social Security and unemployment insurance. Believe me, it will come in handy if you are in the approximately 80 percent of parents of autistic children who get divorced. And, if you are one of the 20 percent, you'll have some money put away for a rainy day.
The amazing thing is that Ms. Brown knows she is lying. She published another piece on the same day for The Today Show blog which includes the truth:
When Danny was first diagnosed, in 1999, a social worker told me that 80 percent of all parents of autistic children get divorced. I later learned that 80 percent statistic isn't true -- call it an autism urban myth. A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that parents of autistic children have only a slightly higher chance of divorcing than the general population. The 2010 study caused a flurry of stories, like this blog post from OpenSalon.com, that debunk the 80 percent figure.
The entire Today Show piece is a remarkable demonstration of the attitude I see most often among autism parents who talk about divorce: "We know the 80% figure isn't true, but it seems true, so we are going to pretend that it is."
It's sort of the same as the people who still want to say that vaccines cause autism.
Because when people with significant traits of autism, like the parents of most autistic children, get an idea in their heads, it's really, really hard to get them to let go of it.
The only sensible thing to do with Hannah Brown is to make sure NOT to buy the book she is working so hard to promote.
Unfortunately, she's not the only one doing this.
Part of what made the Autism Society of America's letter about George Hodgins' death so offensive and wrong was that they claimed a 70% divorce rate.
And on NBC's Parenthood, little aspie Max's mother Kristina said, in the midst of a fight over a woman who kissed her husband, "This is how we become part of the 80%." It was irritating that they decided to put the myth out there again, although she was right about one thing: people do get divorced because of their own failings and blame their kids' autism.
Dealing with the real stresses of having an autistic child is more than enough.
It is made more difficult by parents who exaggerate in order to make people feel sorry for them.
Please stop doing this-- we keep seeing how dangerous it is to add to the anxiety of mothers who are already dealing with stress comparable to that of combat soldiers.
Please start correcting each other when you read the 80% myth.