If you're anything like me, you have a slight addiction to Netflix and television in general.
While I tend to go for Investigation Discovery shows or Game of Thrones, I sometimes scroll through my channel guide, looking for something new to take in.
A recent search on Netflix for a new series to binge-watch got me thinking about shows that feature or have characters with special needs.
For instance, take Breaking Bad.
While I definitely wouldn't recommend this series for it's display of high morals, I am fascinated by one character in particular—Walter White, Jr.
Both Walter Jr. and the actor who portrays him, RJ Mitte, have mild cases of cerebral palsy.
Read on to find out more about him and other television characters with special needs.
Walt, Jr. is the teenage son of BB's main character, Walter White, and his wife, Skyler.
During the first of the show, Walter, Jr. learns that his father is dying from terminal cancer.
Despite his own challenges with cerebral palsy, Walt, Jr. sets out on a mission to help his dad and his family by establishing an online fundraising campaign to pay for his father's very expensive cancer treatments.
What fascinates me the most about Walt, Jr. is the fact that, despite his differences, he is still a typical, normal teenager in every way.
When he gets upset or angry over his father's illness, and later, his criminal activities, Walt Jr reacts the way any teenager would—by yelling at his parents then retreating to his room for privacy.
Also like any other teen, Walt Jr wants to be treated like an adult and doesn't like it when the grown ups in his life keep secrets from him that he knows he can handle.
Mitte's attempt to show how normal a teenager with special needs really is was a major success, an achievement I believe he accomplished because he was that teenager, and I believe he has opened the eyes of many viewers about the truth about kids and people with special needs—they are just like the rest of us in many ways.
ABC Family's drama about two families whose newborn daughters were accidentally switched in the hospital features one of the daughters as being born deaf.
The show has received many praises for their emphasis on hearing-impaired characters and have even featured episodes done entirely in ASL.
Daphne herself has proven she is a smart, talented individual who doesn't let her disability get in her way of her dreams.
You'll have to sign on to Hulu or Netflix to catch this ABC Family series that ended in 2013.
The show centers around a teenager who learns she is pregnant at fifteen after only having sex one time, as well as her friends and their families.
One of the families featured, the Bowman family, has a son named Tom who has Down's syndrome.
Despite the fact that his family and friends often treat him like he doesn't know or understand much about life, Tom shows time and time again that he has way more sense than his sex-crazed sister, Grace, and the rest of their friends.
Though Hodor's exact diagnosis is never explained, given that the show is set in a somewhat medieval period, he is described as a “half-wit” who only knows one word—Hodor.
No one knows why Hodor, whose real name is Walter, has a notion toward that particular word, but his affinity for it has caused most who know him to forget he has any other name.
His answer for everything is Hodor, though he shows definitive signs that he is understanding what others say to him.
Because of his slow mind, Bran Stark, who has the ability to get in the mind of animals, is also able to control Hodor, which comes in handy when Hodor becomes upset and has an autistic-like meltdown.
Hodor has also managed to outlive many other strong, sound-minded characters, a fact that amazes pretty much anyone who tunes into the show.
Glee is known for making you root for the underdogs, so it's no surprise the show features characters with special needs.
Artie Abrams is a talented guitarist and singer who happens to need a wheelchair, while Becky Jackson is cheerleader with Down's syndrome.
Despite Becky's condition, her notoriously mean cheerleading coach treats Becky the same as she does the rest of the squad—a fact that seems to please Becky, even when the coach is being mean to her.
What do these five shows and characters have in common?
They've managed to prove that even those with special needs or differences are capable of extraordinary things.
Do you do therapy with your child at home?