1. Parenting

Brick Heck of "The Middle"

Submit an Entry: Diagnose a TV Character With an Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Analogia

Name of Character

Brick Heck

Name of Show

The Middle

Why Do You Think This Character Is on the Spectrum?

He's a quirky little guy with a little more quirks than your average quirky sitcom kid. Of note:his tendency to repeat words in a low-nodded whisper.

Is This a Good Portrayal of Autism or Asperger's?

Yes, yes, Yes! He is described as being rather off-social yet still lovable. His less-than-social behavior doesn't become a deficit. The scripting shows how many NT adults also are a little not-into people.

What I'd Do Differently

  • I'd make his language sound as though has he developed late speech. Most characters and profiles are of those with Asperger's. I'm tired of seeing "prodigies" or very low-functioning people with autism. Once again, the ones in the middle fall through the cracks.

Terri Mauro, About.com Children With Special Needs, says:

Brick has another special-needs connection -- the actor who plays him, Atticus Shaffer, has osteogenesis imperfecta.

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