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“The Good Doctor” continues to explore how people with autism may perceive relationships differently, in particular romantic and/or sexual ones. In the episode “Xin” written by Brian Shin, Lana (Vered Blodsten) is admitted as a patient for surgery, while her roommate Javi (Alex Plank) visits to bring her favorite foods and other items from home. He insists they are not boyfriend and girlfriend, even when later Lana reveals that they’ve had sex, but describes it in the most practical and unromantic terms.
IndieWire spoke to Melissa Reiner, who is the autism consultant for “The Good Doctor,” for insight into this storyline as well as a central ongoing relationship on the show.
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“There’s so little exploration in the sexual life of someone with a diagnosis,” said Reiner, who also runs Ask Melissa Now. “From the research I’ve done and from the encounters I’ve had with individuals who are adults — who may or may not have had an active sex life — there is often this sort of programmatic approach to sex. There is a detach; they may never want to kiss or really be touched, but may want to have intercourse.
“For most individuals who are neurotypical, especially for women, intimacy is what sort of prepares us emotionally to want to even enjoy an encounter,” she said. “It’s so complex and nuanced and intricate when that piece is missing — the social and emotional, that compassion, the warmth. It doesn’t always mean that it always is with every individual, but with Lana it was, when she wants to have sex with Javi to kind of regulate [her stress], to help her through.”
Dr - Morgan - Reznik - Fiona - Gubelmann
Dr. Morgan Reznik (Fiona Gubelmann) doesn’t quite understand how the two can still see themselves as mere roommates, and when Javi’s help is needed for the surgery to be successful, she appeals...
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