Autism community lauds Amy Schumer for comments on her husband’s autism spectrum disorder diagnosis
Comedian Amy Schumer drew praise from autism advocacy groups after revealing her husband was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in her new stand-up comedy special released on Netflix.
Schumer and Chris Fischer, a chef, wed in February 2018. Schumer is pregnant with their first child, and she discusses the couple’s married life in her “Growing” comedy special, including her husband’s diagnosis.
Autism spectrum disorder is a “developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior,” including, “difficulty with communication and interaction with other people” and “restricted interests and repetitive behaviors,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
“I knew from the beginning that my husband’s brain was a little different than mine,” Schumer said.
She told the audience about a time when she fell while she and Fischer were taking a walk, and instead of asking if she was OK, he “froze.” “I remember laying on the ground looking up at him, and I wasn’t mad. I just thought ‘huh,’” Schumer said. “Lot of ‘huh’ moments.”
Schumer said her husband’s blunt honesty makes him a “dream man.”
“Once he was diagnosed, it dawned on me how funny it was because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons I fell madly in love with him,” Schumer said.
Autism advocacy groups lauded the comedian Wednesday for bringing visibility to people with ASD.
“The more autism is in the news the more positive it is,” Molly Ola Pinney said, founder and CEO of the Global Autism Project. “[Schumer] saying there are adults with autism who are successful really might get more people to understand.”
Pinney added that audiences should also understand that not all people with ASD are as successful as Fischer. Between 70 and 90 percent of autistic people are unemployed or underemployed nationally, according to reporting from The Washington Post.
Zoe Gross, director of operations for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, commended Schumer for not treating autism as something shameful.
“It’s really crucial that people are presented with this kind of idea, that autistic people are in loving relationships,” Gross said. “You don’t see a lot of people talking about autistic adults in loving, caring relationships.”
“FWIW, most #ActuallyAutistic people I have seen on Twitter love what @amyschumer said. Also, good on Amy for showing that Autistic and NT people can be compatible. People ask if I’d only date autistic people but I always say, I just want to date someone cool,” Garcia tweeted.