On Sept. 7, Netflix released season two of the series "Atypical." The show focuses on Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old high school student with autism, and his relationships with his family, friends and school life. "Atypical" is an exploration of how kids with autism socially interact with others and how they view certain situations. In the midst of all this, Sam's family is in turmoil when his sister, Casey, discovers that their mom is having an affair.
The series received both praise and criticism when it premiered in September of last year. Many critics questioned that the show was a misrepresentation of kids with autism. Many praised her for sparking the conversation on autism. The show's creator, Robia Rashid, considered the criticisms when creating season two. She brought on more people with autism to help write the show. Her attempt to do so was evident throughout the ten episodes in the second season. She gives the autism community a voice that is long overdue. In the second season, Rashid treats Sam more like a teenager with autism rather than an autistic teenager. She presents Sam to more real-life situations, like his decision on where he wants to go to college and the discovery of his passion for art.
While Sam is the focus of the series, season two further explores his sister, Casey. Casey starts her second semester at a new private school after receiving a track scholarship. Throughout the episodes, she struggles to make new friends, maintain her relationship and explores her sexuality. After uncovering her mother's affair in season one, Casey also works on rebuilding their relationship in season two.
If you know nothing or very little about autism, I encourage you to watch this show. It's as eye-opening and honest as it is entertaining. It brings up the important conversation about autism and how society has become apathetic towards the disorder. In episode six of season two, Sam spends the night at the police station because an officer presumes he is on drugs while he is walking home late at night. The show teaches society the critical lesson of being sensitive towards all human beings — you don't know what a person deals with or what is normal in their day-to-day life.
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