“Asperger’s” Top Google Search after Parenthood Episode

National Autism Awareness month has begun in full swing for April.  Now I’m alllll about educating Joe Public on this neurological disorder in the hopes that one day I can just say “I have a son with Asperger’s syndrome”  and it will not need further explanation. One can dream, can’t one?

One place I was surprised to find it was on the new primetime TV show, Parenthood. In the past, most of the characters who play a person with either autism or Asperger’s have been either stereo-typically exaggerated or been absent all together. I’ve not had a chance to see the episode that created the buzz about Asperger’s yet, so I won’t say yet whether or not I feel it was accurate. I can keep my fingers crossed that maybe this time – just maybe – a better portrayal or semblance of how it affects our lives here in this little fishbowl will be broadcasted each week on a popular new show.

Hope springs eternal! Read on:



Asperger’s syndrome tops Google searches after plotline on NBC show ‘Parenthood’

BY Tracy Miller

Originally Published:Wednesday, March 10th 2010, 10:26 AM
 Updated: Wednesday, March 10th 2010, 10:26 AM
On 'Parenthood,' the Braverman family learns Max (Max Burkholder, 2nd l.) has Asperger's. From l.-r., Peter Krause, Monica Potter and Bonnie Bedelia play Max's parents and grandmother.

A storyline on the new NBC sitcomParenthood” is raising public awareness of Asperger’s syndrome – at least according to Google searches.

“Asperger’s” (and various misspellings) were among the top Google trends Wednesday morning after the second episode of the hourlong drama, which features a character with Asperger’s, aired Tuesday night.

Asperger’s is a form of high-functioning autism often characterized by inability to pick up on social cues, heightened sensitivity, and an intense focus on only one or a few interests. Because it is at the low end of the autism spectrum, people without awareness of the condition may assume someone with Asperger’s is simply quirky or socially awkward.

On “Parenthood,” parents Adam and Kristina Braverman (played by Peter Krause and Monica Potter) are told their young son Max (played by Max Burkholder) may have Asperger’s, and Adam is seen struggling to connect with his son.

“Parenthood” writer and executive producer Jason Katims has a 13-year-old son with Asperger’s, and has said NBC was “supportive but wary” about the Asperger’s plotline.

“They want to be careful of making something either feel too heavy, or something where you’re not talking to a large enough audience,” Katims told the Newark Star-Ledger.

“My hope would be that it normalizes it,” Katims continued. “So there’s no stigma to it, no mystery to it.”


2 Responses

  1. It looked like a good portrayal to me.

    Thanks, Beckie!! I plan to see the original episode; I’ve watched a single episode before I saw this article so now I’m even MORE interested in the show (it looked good before this!)

  2. Hi! Do you remember me? I feel you practically raised me from 1996 to about 1998. Anyway, in response, the new DSM is coming out in 2013 and Asperger’s and PDD will no longer be recognized but, rather, lumped simply as an autism spectrum disorder. I have not watched the episode because portrayals of individuals with autism usually just make me angry.

    Oh MY!! Amanda!! Of COURSE we remember you ~ we’ve been looking for you since right after 1998! I’ll contact you via email – I had heard about the DSM, but didn’t know when. And yes, they usually make me angry too (or maybe just sad)…I *still haven’t watched it!
    You just made my day! 😀 Talk to you soon!

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