A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The Inspiring Story of “Atypical”

On November 1st, the third season of Netflix’s Atypical was released. Atypical is a heartwarming and inspiring series about a teenage boy, Sam Gardner, who was diagnosed with an autism disorder and has an obsession with Antarctica and the penguins who live there, and makes frequent analogies for life relating the topic of Antarctica to everyday life as a high school student. Throughout the show, thanks to his family and friends, Sam is able to overcome mental obstacles that high school brings.

This show takes place in Sam’s childhood home in Connecticut, and Sam lives with his parents, Elsa and Doug, and his younger sister, Casey. 

In the first season, little things that would come quite easy to us are very difficult for Sam, like walking through the busy high school hallways and socializing with peers. Sam is very intelligent for his age, and was able to get a job at a local technology store, Techtropolis, where he met his best friend and life coach, Zahid. Zahid essentially helped Sam with almost every obstacle that life brought on. Sam had a very influential and supportive therapist named Julia, but their relationship brought on some issues. Later on in the show, Sam even meets and dates a high school teenager named Paige, and Paige loves Sam unconditionally. With the help of his supportive family and friends Sam is able to overcome the hardships of his autism and live up to his full potential. He even gives his class graduation speech and attends college! 

While the show primarily revolves around Sam, viewers are also able to get the scoop on his parents’ relationship, his sister’s track and social life, Zahid’s eventful life, Paige’s busy life, and many other essential characters in the show. They all realize that in order to succeed everyday, they need each other’s love and comfort.

Atypical is one of those shows that portrays that those struggling with a mental disorder can do anything and everything they put their minds towards. Look at Sam, he started off his journey with almost every social situation being extremely intimidating and felt impossible to conquer. Then, with the help of his family and friends he was able to face those situations head on and graduated high school third in his class with a reliable job and a loving girlfriend. Atypical can also relate to us high school students. Sometimes, we feel as if we cannot accomplish something, like doing well on a test. But, with a few encouraging words and the right mindset, we can accomplish anything, like Sam.