Outrage over new show about a boy on the spectrum

has sparked controversy with its new show about a boy with autism.

Atypical, which debuted on the streaming service today, tells the story of Sam, a teenage boy growing up on the spectrum.

The highly-anticipated show is the first of many upcoming programs with autism as a central theme, with another soon to hit HBO - something disability advocates have celebrated.

However, the series has received intense backlash, with many accusing its writers of using autism 'for laughs' and perpetuating stereotypes.

Others have defended the show as 'better than 13 Reasons Why', the controversial 's series about teenage suicide and mental health, which screened in March.

And a leading autism researcher told Daily Mail Online she is sympathetic to the show for being 'brave enough' to start a dialogue, given that it is 'essentially impossible' to portray autism without criticism. 

Controversial: Atypical tells the story of Sam, a teenage boy growing up on the spectrum

Controversial: Atypical tells the story of Sam, a teenage boy growing up on the spectrum

The series has received intense backlash, with many accusing its writers of using autism 'for laughs' and perpetuating stereotypes

The series has received intense backlash, with many accusing its writers of using autism 'for laughs' and perpetuating stereotypes

One of the first critics of the show was Mickey Rowe, star of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime.

In a lengthy op-ed for Teen Vogue, Rowe, who is one of the first ever autistic actors to play an autistic character, said the show is 'flawed'.

He celebrated that unconfirmed reports say the writers sought advice from one of the country's top autism research centers.

Nonetheless, Rowe says the script 'seems to play into stereotypes that I've experienced firsthand that could have easily avoided'. 

He highlights some examples, such as a scene where Sam repeatedly says 'twat' or tells his therapist he can see her purple bra.

'As he does each of these things, it feels like the audience is supposed to laugh at how weird and different Sam is. This is the crux of Atypical's comedy, but there's nothing that funny about turning someone's disability into a punchline,' Rowe writes. 

Dr Shafali

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