Does no one else have a problem with Extraordinary Lee Young Woo? For starters I dislike how the only media portrayal of Autism is when it is at the end of the spectrum. There is no such thing as a mild Autism on screens.

Secondly, at least, 1 in 100 kids have Autism. It IS pretty common. Was Young Woo, our invented protagonist, really the first Autistic person who got a law degree? Really? The mass media’s one note depiction of Autism is the reason why a lot of people with ASD are getting told that they don’t ~~ look ~~ autistic.

That will all be fine and good, but I hate how shows like this one somehow make it sound as if one of the symptoms of Autism is…you guessed, being a genius. Cause no way will an audience care about and cheer for a person with an autism if they don’t have a superpower

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    i havent watched this show but planning to start soon. and i can feel you for sure as i had same feeling about Its okay not to be Okay as to how wrongly Bipolar Disorder was depicted in it.
    But i have to just share my 2 cents not autism related but in general about stories we see on screen.. all stories when put on screen are exaggerated/grand/too good kind of cause if not it would look like story of normal people like you n me.. like someone next door. And viewers would not be attracted to it cause their isnt much drama to that grand depiction… hence its either too good or too bad nothing in between…

    only good thing is it gets the discussion rolling.. that more people will search abt autism (or bipolar disorder after Its okay not to be okay.. i hated that show for how wrong bipolar was depicted hence dropped it)

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      Bringing this up reminds me of how Our Blues portrayed Down Syndrome as something no one on Jeju island (including the 20-something generation) was familiar with, and associated having DS with negative prejudice. I will say they did a fairly good job attempting to dispel the prejudices, and Jung Eun-Hye, an actress with Down Syndrome, was cast to play played the role Young-Hee.

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        I could actually buy that somewhat, maybe not being familiar with it but not being around anybody with DS, considering how disabilities seem to be treated in SK. I live in a fairly small town in the U.S. and I had never seen anybody with Down Syndrome until I moved to a bigger place for college. I did grow up seeing people with Down Syndrome on television, but I doubt that is common in SK. I’m not sure it was common with autism either. I mentioned the actress Oh Yoonah and her son in the EAW episode thread and how she received a lot of praise for bringing her son out and putting a face to autism.

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    I seem to recall in one of the early episodes someone said it was extremely rare for an autistic person to also be a genius, not that it was a normal byproduct of the condition.

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      That may have been me. I’ve cared for and coached a few people on the spectrum. I’m not an expert by any means, but being an autistic savant (which is what Young woo is depicted as being) is super rare. Episode 3 makes this abundantly clear. Young girls that I’ve seen on the spectrum also do a better job at masking their symptoms, but in periods of high stress, it typically manifests itself in more obvious ways. Episode 3 also educates the viewer on how and when and the historical background where autism was first described. The discussion on recap 1 also mentioned this and why Asperger’s is not a term that should be used to describe higher functioning autism. I’m glad it was mentioned.

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    They do address it in episode 3. The show emphasize that case of Woo Young Woo is special and it is not common. Please watch episode 3.

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      @sspat yes, E3 is where I remember hearing it said.

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      The shows about Autism somehow end up going to the genius route pretty often tho. They don’t say it is a byproduct, but the idea is still there.

      The good doctor, rain man, this one, dozens of other shows with Autistic leads depict them as geniuses. Why is it even needed? Couldn’t Young Woo not being one and still have a successful career? Would her condition really make it impossible for her to be hired in a law firm? Wouldn’t simple dedication and hard work not being enough?

      I hated how her dad even finds out that she is a genius ~~. It happens on the EXACT same day when the doctor tells her father she might have an Autism. It read like “sure, his daughter might not be like majority of other kids, but look, she is a genius. That MUST make her existence fine now”.

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        “Would her condition really make it impossible for her to be hired in a law firm? Wouldn’t simple dedication and hard work not being enough?”

        Young Woo could still be hired in a law firm, but I think that it would be a hard sell for any firm to hire her as an attorney, especially when dedication and hard work isn’t enough for neurotypicals to get hired as associates, much less become partners. This is based on my own country but employment assistance schemes for the neurodiverse here tend to lean towards blue-collar jobs, if it’s a white-collar job it tends to be a non-client facing position. And that’s even for companies which are openly practicing inclusive hiring.

        “I hated how her dad even finds out that she is a genius ~~. It happens on the EXACT same day when the doctor tells her father she might have an Autism.”

        I do agree that the setup is a bit rushed, though I think that prolonging it any further would have made it detrimental in holding onto viewers’ attention: it isn’t a documentary after all and timelines do have to get condensed in a drama. But if I was in charge of the show, I might have just cut the diagnosis scene and sprinkled it as a flashback scene later on, as the show did when covering the father’s experience taking care of Young Woo.

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    This is such an important point. I think it’s the same philosophy with anything that is going to be added to the storyline to cover ‘difference’.

    It’s rare they will employ someone with the actual condition like in Our blues. Dementia is the only bad thing that happens when you get older, brain tumours lead to short life expectancy you will operate as your normal self and then suddenly you will deteriorate and die. All accidents lead to random short term memory loss or a coma that you suddenly come out of but then you are fine.

    It’s a shame that they treat conditions as a pick and mix rather than as you say having someone who happens to have the condition just going about daily life and having the usual events of a drama happen to them.

    I think in My dear friends they tried to do this with the many elements of adjustment and prejudice about physical and mental health and the aging process by looking at relationships dynamics across the board. Having the adult son reminding his mum to pack her incontinence pads in such a matter of fact way was a nice touch.

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    It’s the same in every Kdrama for every leads : the genius doctor, the genius lawyer, the genius CEO, etc. It’s not only for people with autism.

    In this case, I don’t think they portrayed her as a genius but with a good memory and a different way to perceive things.

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    As a parent of a child with ASD, I think this show is able to address autism well. She maybe a savant in memorizing the law and whale facts but she is still handicapped as she has yet to learn how to make these facts functional. Exactly the struggles of an autistic person. Episode 3 also tackled that this is indeed a spectrum and her case is extremely rare. They also emphasized that each case is unique, which is true. While I do agree that the industry usually features stories about savants only, but I think that is true about show business in general, as stories are mostly about the extraordinary 1% of us.

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    “Secondly, at least, 1 in 100 kids have Autism. It IS pretty common. Was Young Woo, our invented protagonist, really the first Autistic person who got a law degree?”

    It could be that she’s the first one to openly admit that she’s autistic, not that she’s necessarily the first autistic lawyer. I don’t think the show will ever talk about masking because Young Woo has never dabbled in that, but I do hope we do meet someone who’s masked enough to appear neurotypical sometime within the show. I also think that will be a significant factor when I rate the show at the end.

    “That will all be fine and good, but I hate how shows like this one somehow make it sound as if one of the symptoms of Autism is…you guessed, being a genius.”

    To be fair, the fact that the main character is a lawyer does imply some level of intellectual prowess, because it’s quite unrealistic that someone on the lower end of the spectrum could even become a lawyer in the first place, particularly when you consider the verbal and argumentative skills required for the job. I don’t necessarily disagree that the over-featuring of savant autism is good representation for the spectrum, but they are already showing different people with autism so it’s not like they’re pigeonholing on the “geniuses”. Would it have been better if they featured someone who’s just an “average” lawyer and/or didn’t openly disclose their condition? Yes! But I think it’s a rarity for even the standard neurotypical show to feature an “average” character regardless of profession so it’s a general problem with mass media.

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