Sam Gardner (Atypical)

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Sam Gardner
Portrayed by Keir Gilchrist
Appears in Atypical
Debut season 1, episode 1: "Antarctica"
Year 2017

Sam Gardner is the main character in the American comedy-drama television series Atypical.

Character creation

According to the official Twitter account, autistic people did audition, but non-autistic actor Keir Gilchrist was considered the best for the role.[1] Michelle Dean was brought on board as a full-time consultant.[2][3][4] Elaine Hall served as an acting coach.[5]


With the series focusing on Sam's coming-of-age, autism is a major theme throughout all 4 seasons.[6][7][8]


The first season in particular drew significant criticisms from autistic people. A major point of contention was the adherence to previously established archetypes, both in the general demographic traits of the character (a white, cisgender, straight, middle class, young man) as well as the autistic traits shown (described as "more of a collection of stereotypes and repetitive physical movements than a person" by Sarah Kurchak for Time[9]). Improvements were made over the subsequent seasons.


External links