Reality Shows That Focus on the Differently-Abled

Eight adults on the spectrum in elegant clothing and posing.

The world of reality TV covers a wide variety of situations as seen in this list of the top 50 reality series. Coming in at #19 is a jewel of a series called “Love on the Spectrum”. This series is available on Netflix and comes to us from Australia. 

The series focuses on selected individuals on the autistic spectrum that are ready to enter the dating world. A relationship coach works with many participants as they enter the dating world. The participants find dates in a variety of ways such as speed dating events, online and through friends/family. Some date within the differently-abled community and others the general population. 

The participants’ social skills levels cover a wide range, but everyone benefits from the counseling provided. There are even a couple of participants that are already in committed relationships. It is interesting to see how their ASD brought them together and the way it impacts their relationship. Just like the general population, dating is complicated and often disappointing. These young adults handle themselves very well and are willing to learn and keep trying.

The show has been hugely popular. One of the participants, Michael, was a recent guest on The Ellen Show. This is a great show for parents/guardians to watch with the special-needs adults in their life.

Another interesting reality show is Employable Me out of Canada. The series website describes the series as follows: This six-part documentary series features job-seekers determined to show that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Each episode features two individuals from the Greater Toronto Area or Montreal who want nothing more than to find steady employment. Each is living with vision loss or a neurological condition such as Tourette’s, Asperger’s or Down syndrome, or ADHD. It isn’t always easy but each job seeker is determined to find their passion.

These series show how the right type of support can go a long way for these very special people to have full lives.

—— Sandra Waldrop

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