Atypical is a comedy that follows the lives of 18-year-old Sam Gardner, who is on the autism spectrum, and his family as he dives into the world of dating.
Through Sam’s sessions with his therapist, viewers are able to understand what life can be like for some people with autism (not everyone experiences the same challenges). Sam in particular has sensory sensitivity and has difficulties picking up on social cues. His mother, Elsa, is struggling with Sam’s decision to pursue dating and that he is becoming less dependent on her. She sees it as a challenge to her identity because she doesn’t know who she is when she’s not acting as her son’s primary caregiver and advocate. His younger sister, Casey, acts as Sam’s first line of defense at school, but the two have a typical sibling relationship marked by teasing and the occasional spat. Sam’s father, Doug, tries to understand him, but seems to be excluded from the bubble Elsa and Sam have created.