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5 Autistic Actors You Should Be Watching Now

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In light of the controversy surrounding Sia casting the neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler in her movie “Music,” here are five actually autistic actors you should be following now.

1.Mickey Rowe

Mickey Rowe was the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone in the Tony-Award winning play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” This also made him the first known autistic actor to ever play any autistic character in a professional performance setting. He has also played the title character in the Tony-Award winning play “Amadeus.” He has been seen in the New York Times, PBS, Teen Vogue, NPR, HuffPost and has spoken at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, at Yale School of Drama, on Broadway and more.

Mickey famously believes “our differences are our strengths.” He became the founding Artistic Director of National Disability Theatre, which works in partnership with Tony Award-winning companies such as La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and more.

He says, “We want to be active parts of the conversation about autism. We want to help shape the stories about us from the inside just like any other minority group would want to have a hand in telling the public stories that shape public understanding about their group. Young people with disabilities in this country need to see positive role models who will tell them that if you are different, if you access the world differently, then we need you! The world needs you! Excluding people with disabilities from stories that are entirely about disability doesn’t help to accomplish this. The point of storytelling is to connect us with people we otherwise wouldn’t come in contact with, to bring us life experiences we don’t already have. That is why diversity in the arts matters. Inclusion in the arts matters because it leads to inclusion in life.”

Find Mickey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

You can read Mickey’s response to Sia’s movie on The Mighty.

2. Kayla Cromer

Kayla Cromer plays Matilda on Freeform’s TV show “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.”

“My heart stopped when I saw the role available and that they were specifically seeking an actress that was either autistic or on the spectrum,” says Kayla, who’s on the autism spectrum. “After reading the pilot script, I instantly fell in love with Matilda. Everything that she was about and how quirky the show seemed compared to other sitcoms and comedies that I’ve watched.”

Find Kayla on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

3. Coby Bird

Coby Bird is an actor known for playing Rufus on Netflix’s “Locke & Key.” You can watch this interview to learn more about him.

Find Coby on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

4. Andrew Duff

Andrew Duff is an actor known for the Sara Bareilles and J.J. Abrams-produced TV Show “Little Voice” on Apple TV. Little Voice explores “the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.” It is described as a fresh, intensely romantic tale of the search to find your true voice, and then the courage to use it.

Find Andrew on Instagram and Facebook.

5. Alex Plank

Alex Plank has been featured on the TV show “The Good Doctor.” He is also known for founding the online community Wrong Planet and working on FX’s television series “The Bridge.” At the age of 9, Plank was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Plank started Wrong Planet at the age of 17 in order to find others like him on the Internet. After the popularity of Wrong Planet grew, Plank has been frequently mentioned in the mainstream media in articles relating to autism, Asperger’s and autism rights.

Find Alex on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published: December 16, 2020
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