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“The Amazing Race” Welcomes A Contestant With Asperger’s Syndrome

On the Sunday premiere of “The Amazing Race,” Zev Glassenberg, a 26-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome, will become the latest reality show contestant to openly acknowledge having the disorder. We think this is very cool, but we have to ask: Why does Asperger’s get so much play in the media? First, there was Heather on cycle 9 of “America’s Next Top Model,” who rocked her socially-awkward-but-totally-hot self into a spot in the final four. Then Hugh Dancy sexed up the disorder in the super sweet movie, “Adam.” Now Jodi Picoult, the author of “My Sister’s Keeper,” is releasing a new book about a teen with a flair for forensics and an Asperger’s diagnosis. Is Asperger’s the telegenic end of the autism spectrum? While awareness is very important and while we all need to understand that it doesn’t mean a person is disabled but is differently-abled, maybe we’re ready to see some other psychological disorders in pop culture. Can we see more people with Tourette’s on TV? Or some savants? I’m really only half joking here.

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