Women with Autism Finally Represented in Movie Starring Dakota Fanning

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In 2017, we got a great deal of media coverage of autism. The Power Rangers movie featured a character on the spectrum, and TV shows like Netflix’s Atypical and ABC’s The Good Doctor also premiered in the fall. But one arguable problem with these shows and movie was that all the autistic characters were male. And though men and boys tend to be diagnosed with autism more frequently than women and girls, females still make up a significant portion of the autistic population and deserve to be represented.

A movie titled Temple Grandin was released in 2010 that delved into the life and work of real-life scientist and professor Temple Grandin. Grandin is a well-known and admired figure in the autism community. But besides that movie release years ago, women with autism still lack representation in Hollywood. This problem is being remedied with a new movie about an autistic woman: Please Stand By.

Photo: YouTube/Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Photo: YouTube/Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Starring Dakota Fanning, Please Stand By tells the story of Wendy, a woman who escapes her group home in order to enter a Star Trek writing contest in Los Angeles. With her cute little dog by her side, Wendy must overcome a number of obstacles on her journey.

The movie, presented by Magnolia Pictures, premiered in theaters on January 26 and is also available on iTunes, on demand, and on Amazon Video.

In addition to raising awareness of autism among females, this movie could also shine a light on wandering, a common issue among people with autism, as the premise of Please Stand By involves Wendy escaping from her group home.

Photo: YouTube/Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Photo: YouTube/Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Reactions to the trailer have been mixed. Some are thrilled for the female representation of autism in the media, whereas others are understandably disappointed that the lead actress is not autistic, herself. However, writer Michael Golamco has assured potential viewers that they hired as many autistic actors as possible to appear in the movie.

Overall, it will be exciting to see how this movie does in terms of portraying the experience of autism—especially among the less-represented but equally-important women who have the disorder.

Check out the trailer in the video below!

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.
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