Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Amy Petersen


Autism--In popular culture; Asperger's syndrome--In popular culture; Parenthood (Television program : 2010- );


The initial purpose of this thesis project was to find out how autism is portrayed in the media. I completed research to find out the different ways autism is typically portrayed in media and how experts have already classified this information. There has been a lot of research done in the past on disability in the media, and how disability as a whole is portrayed in the media. As I began my research I noticed there was a gap in the research about any one certain disability, specifically about autism and Asperger’s. I set out to do my own research to start to fill that gap about autism and Asperger’s in the media. Because autism is becoming more common in society today, it is also becoming a much more common disability to see in the media, whether that be on the news, a TV show, movie, in a book, or some other form of media. Since autism is such a common diagnosis being made, it is important to examine how the media is portraying autism, and especially if it is portraying it authentically. This is because most of our viewpoints on disability come from what we see in the media. People develop an idea of something based on what they see in the media, so it is important that the media is representing disability, specifically autism and Asperger’s, in an accurate and authentic way. The purpose of my thesis was to research autism, specifically Asperger’s, and find out the different ways that it is portrayed in the show Parenthood.

Year of Submission



Department of Special Education

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (31 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download