Asperger’s syndrome plays a starring role in three upcoming films, leading many to suggest that the days of “Rain Man” are long gone in favor of a broader view of the disorder.

The films have little in common besides a character with the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, but with debuts this summer and next year, the collective presence of three films reflects the increasing public awareness of autism.

“Adam” has already received significant attention after winning an award for outstanding feature film at the Sundance Film Festival. It focuses on an astronomy-obsessed man with Asperger’s syndrome and his romance with a neurotypical neighbor.

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An animated feature “Mary and Max,” also screened at Sundance and tells the story of a middle aged New Yorker with Asperger’s syndrome who develops a pen-pal relationship with a young girl in Australia. The film has already earned over $1 million since opening in that country in the spring.

And finally, next year HBO will air a biopic of Temple Grandin, a Colorado professor with autism who is highly regarded for her work with livestock.

In the words of one advocate who advised makers of two of the films, Asperger’s is “becoming less of a threat and part of our culture,” reports The New York Times. To read more click here.

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