Freeform's New Series 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' to Feature Actress on the Spectrum as Lead Character With Autism

Casting an actress on the spectrum to play a character on the spectrum? What a concept!

Unfortunately, it *is* seemingly a new concept as most shows that have characters with autism (The Good Doctor, Atypical) hire actors without autism to portray them.

But Freeform is ready to break the bad habit with their new series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. The series features three siblings who have to deal with life after their father suddenly passes away. One of the siblings, Matilda, is on the spectrum and is played by model/actress Kayla Cromer.

Kayla officially “came out” so-to-speak earlier this year at the Freeform Summit in March. She told the press,

“I have learned to trust the journey and this event is the perfect place for me to come out publicly for the first time that I’m actually on the autism spectrum.”

She added,

“People with a difference are fully capable of portraying our own type. Why not now?”

Since then, Kayla has become more outspoken about the need for characters with autism to be played by actors on the spectrum. Although she didn’t actually name names, she said,

“Everyone that’s been cast as a character with autism doesn’t really have that disability themselves. So how can they expect to act like one of us, when they haven’t walked in our shoes?”

Prior to landing her role as Matilda, Kayla did a bit of modeling in the beauty industry and even landed herself a few guest-starring roles on TV series like South of Hell.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay premieres January 16th. Check out the trailer below.

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Feature Photo: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay / Twitter

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.