Although it’s not quite controversial, Netflix‘s new show, Love On the Spectrum has made a splash in the neurodiverse community. The show focuses on adults on the autism spectrum as they attempt to find a romantic partner.
Viewers on the spectrum have a lot of opinions about the show according to Time, and mostly they’re positive. But fans don’t love everything about Love On the Spectrum, and one of the things they’ve complained about recently is the way Maddi is treated by her parents. While they clearly just want the best for their daughter, fans were often rubbed the wrong way by the way they treat her.
One fan on Reddit commented: “There are some parents I really liked on the show, and others not so much. Maddi’s parents put me off a little. I didn’t like that they told her not to say that she doesn’t want kids and i don’t like how there were times when she’d say no to something and they’d keep insisting until she gave in.”
Fans didn’t like that Maddi’s parents told her to lie about wanting kids
At the beginning of the show, Maddi is introduced to viewers as a woman on the spectrum who wants a boyfriend who is “tall, blonde, green eyes, ripped,” according to Radio Times.
She also wants someone who is also on the spectrum. She feels more comfortable with someone who has similar personality traits, and she feels like another neurodiverse person would have those traits. At 23 years old, she also reveals to her parents in one episode that she does not want children.
Maddi’s parents brush off her statement. Not only do they not take her saying she doesn’t want children seriously, but they instruct her not to say that to a potential partner.
To fans, it seems like Maddi’s parents assume her statement has something to do with her being on the spectrum. However, plenty of people who are not on the spectrum don’t want kids, and their decisions are never questioned.
Wanting or not wanting children has nothing to do with being on the spectrum
Fans think that Maddi’s parents shouldn’t have reacted the way they did to her statement. As one fan put it, they seemed to tell Maddi that what she was saying about not wanting children was socially unacceptable.
As one fan wrote, “Maddie sad she doesnt want kids and her parents invalidated her answer and made her feel like saying no to wanting kids was a social faux pas related to being autistic.”
As a person on the spectrum, Maddi is aware she’s not always sure how to act in social situations. She looks to her parents to help her navigate appropriate reactions. In that sense, Maddi is somewhat vulnerable to manipulation.
If her parents tell her it’s not socially acceptable to do something, she believes them. That could lead to a situation where Maddi agrees to having kids with a potential partner, all because she thinks not wanting kids is a social faux pas.
Maddi told her date she does want kids
After the conversation with her parents, Maddi tells a potential partner on a date that she does want kids. Fans were disturbed by that. They saw it as essentially misleading the partner, all thanks to her parents’ influence. Most fans were upset at what happened, to say the least.
Other fans seemed to understand where Maddi’s parents were coming from. First, insisting that their children should procreate is something all parents do, regardless of whether or not their adult child is on the spectrum.
Second, some fans seemed to think that Maddi might change her mind, and she should take that into consideration when speaking with a potential partner.