Season 2 was just released on Netflix.

The Umbrella Academy which premiered on Netflix in 2019 is an American superhero television series. Harlan Cooper, is played by Justin Paul Kelly who is a recurring character on Season 2 of the show. He is described as a shy autistic kid.

As a professional speaker who’s on the autism spectrum I’ve had opportunities to be an autism entertainment consultant to bring a realistic portrayal of autism to our entertainment industry. When one of my friends mentioned Harlan I had to give it a watch.

I found Justin’s portrayal of the character realistic to somebody who’s on the autism spectrum. On my Facebook Page when I found out about the character, several autism parents commented saying how they could see their child in the character. I had similar challenges growing up dealing with extreme shyness due to trying to cope with some of my sensory challenges as a kid.

Another fun side note about this series is that actor Tom Hopper (one of the main characters on the show) just came out about having a child who is on the autism spectrum.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has featured autism recently. Two documentaries, which I highly recommend, have been released called The Speed Cubers and Love on the Spectrum.

Spoilers ahead…

Harlan has a moment in Season 2 in the last episode where has superpowers are revealed of (telekenesis).

What I found interesting and why I think several of my mentees will enjoy this show is because they consider their autism as a ‘superpower.’ The two biggest superpowers they most frequently acknowledge are their ability to focus on key interests for long periods of times and their heightened senses. They also are fans of action shows and movies.

I enjoyed the show and would recommend it with the only reservation being parental guidance for younger children (the show has a TV-14 rating and there are several dark moments in addition to some intense action sequences).

Will you be tuning in? Let me know what you think!