The Best Autistic and Autistic-Coded Characters in Animation

Three years ago, I wrote a piece for Ms. about Hollywood’s blatant and continued exclusion of Autistic people, as well as the ableist tropes film and TV have continued to push in its depiction of Autism. Since the article was published, I have seen more positive strides taken in terms of Autism representation in the media, with many of those strides coming from the world of animation.

As we wind down World Autism Month, here are some of my favorite Autistic and Autistic-coded characters in animation.

Black, Queer and Neurodivergent: Janelle Monáe’s ‘The Age of Pleasure’ Dives Into Play, Joy and Creativity

Luxuriating in unlimited Black queer potential for pleasure—while staying present, even taking pleasure in life’s inherent uncertainty—Janelle Monáe’s The Age of Pleasure experiments with a therapeutic process as much as an artistic one. The album celebrates neurodivergence and sun-kissed, ocean-deep, lusciously melanated Black queer love.

Cosplaying Oppression: Hollywood’s History of Excluding Autistic People From Their Own Stories

Disabled people, especially autistic people, continue to face a lack of true and respectful representation from the mainstream media.

“We’ve progressed with other minority groups. With disability, the representation is still woefully inadequate, and we think that’s based on a stigma that’s prevalent in society and also in Hollywood.”