Zack Harris (Private Practice)

From Autistic characters wiki
(Redirected from Zack Harris)
Zack Harris
Aaron Sanders as Zack Harris: a young teenage boy with light skin tone and dark brown hair. He is looking down at a toy in his hands. He's wearing a brown shirt with blue stripes across the chest, and a grey hoodie.
Portrayed by Aaron Sanders[1]
Appears in Private Practice
Debut season 4, episode 2: "Short Cuts"
Year 2010

Zack Harris is a one-time character in the American medical series Private Practice.


Zack is 12 years old. He lives with his single mother Sydney, after his father left them due to being unable to deal with Zack's autism. His mother stopped giving him his regular medication, and instead gave him the marijuana she's been taking for her migraines. The doctors at the practice discuss this—while they empathize with how difficult raising Zack is, they also worry about side effects, the fact that marijuana as a treatment for autism lacks evidence, and the fact that misusing prescriptions like that is illegal. Dr. Wilder wants to try other therapies first.

Zack and Sydney standing in an office. Zack is holding his hands up, seemingly stimming. He's looking away from the camera. Sydney looks pressed.
Sydney explains that Zack has been getting worse since stopping the marijuana

Sydney stops giving Zack her marijuana, but then he starts getting more agitated due to the sudden withdrawal. Sydney buys some weed off the street, hoping it'll help Zack again, but it's been laced with PCP. His agitation increases even more, and he experiences a hypertensive crisis, leading his mother to bring him to the ER. While they manage to stabilize him, the doctors turn Sydney in to the police, meaning Zack will be left in the care of the Department of Child and Family Services.


His mother says she struggles with his autism, particularly that handling meltdowns are difficult as he's growing taller and bigger. She is sometimes afraid of him. She has tried a variety of medications and therapy for Zack, none of which worked. She worries about being able to handle everything and in her desperation, turns to giving her own medicinal marijuana to Zack.

Zack deals with self-harming stims like hitting his head to the wall. He is nonverbal.

Episode list

Private Practice

  • season 4, episode 2: "Short Cuts"


External links