Like Sarah Palin, characters with Asperger's Syndrome are showing up everywhere on TV shows. The latest one was a cardiac surgeon last night on Grey's Anatomy. Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves) played the surgeon a bit like Rainman. She was a top surgeon that the chief wanted on the staff of Seattle Grace, but I doubt she'll return since her parting words to Bailey were along the lines of how she didn't recognize cues for sarcasm and jokes but that she did know when she was being manipulated and made fun of. Then she said she didn't like that hospital.
Last week a savant very similar to Rainman was on NUMB3RS. Charlie, the math genius, asked his brother if exceptional talent in math and poor social skills sounded familiar and then added that most of the ones he knew were higher functioning than this guy was.
There's the attorney "Hands" on Boston Legal who has Asperger's, and Tempe Brennan on Bones has the characteristics. Mr. Spock, of course, from Star Trek. Then there's Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.
With more emphasis on autism, they are bound to appear as characters on shows. Now that I'm learning more about it because of my grandson, quite a few people I've taught with and known have it, I'm sure. We just weren't that aware of it then.
I told my son and daughter-in-law that Brendan and my cat Brigit remind me of each other at times. There is something to this, actually. Many of the traits of Asperger's are cat characteristics. There's even a book about it, and I'm going to order it!