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Why Doc Martin hates being called Doc Martin: Autism Spectrum Disorder on TV

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Autism spectrum disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent among

    university students (Dixon & Tanner, 2013). In order to better understand

    these students and accommodate their social disabilities in the classroom,

    academics need first to understand how the disorder presents. In a

    reversal of a ‘Theory of Mind’ strategy which uses television programs to

    teach people on the spectrum social skills, so too can neurotypical

    teaching staff get an insight into the thought processes of students on the

    spectrum by observing television characters who demonstrate the

    symptoms. Despite the show’s refusal to ‘diagnose’ the character

    officially, Doc Martin’s eponymous Dr Martin Ellingham is generally

    read by audiences as being on the spectrum. The show and the character

    offer insights into the workings of Martin’s mind and humorously point

    out the social ramifications of his very literal thinking and non-existent

    bedside manner. This paper seeks to explore the ways in which this

    character from popular culture may be utilised as a means of addressing

    stigmas and misconceptions within the university classroom.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • McMahon-Coleman, K. (2015). Why Doc Martin hates being called Doc Martin: Autism Spectrum Disorder on TV. In P. Mountfort (Ed.), 6th Annual Conference, Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (pp. 124-132). Wellington, New Zealand: PopCAANZ.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asdpapers/722

Start Page


  • 124

End Page


  • 132

Place Of Publication


  • Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract


  • Autism spectrum disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent among

    university students (Dixon & Tanner, 2013). In order to better understand

    these students and accommodate their social disabilities in the classroom,

    academics need first to understand how the disorder presents. In a

    reversal of a ‘Theory of Mind’ strategy which uses television programs to

    teach people on the spectrum social skills, so too can neurotypical

    teaching staff get an insight into the thought processes of students on the

    spectrum by observing television characters who demonstrate the

    symptoms. Despite the show’s refusal to ‘diagnose’ the character

    officially, Doc Martin’s eponymous Dr Martin Ellingham is generally

    read by audiences as being on the spectrum. The show and the character

    offer insights into the workings of Martin’s mind and humorously point

    out the social ramifications of his very literal thinking and non-existent

    bedside manner. This paper seeks to explore the ways in which this

    character from popular culture may be utilised as a means of addressing

    stigmas and misconceptions within the university classroom.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • McMahon-Coleman, K. (2015). Why Doc Martin hates being called Doc Martin: Autism Spectrum Disorder on TV. In P. Mountfort (Ed.), 6th Annual Conference, Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (pp. 124-132). Wellington, New Zealand: PopCAANZ.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asdpapers/722

Start Page


  • 124

End Page


  • 132

Place Of Publication


  • Wellington, New Zealand