Four psychiatrists in the UK specialising in autistic spectrum disorders give their professional conclusions on whether Sherlock has autism or Asperger’s Syndrome:
- A consultant psychiatrist specialising in diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders in adults.
My dad has Aspergers, and there are some things about Sherlock’s behaviours and personality that remind me of my dad very vividly. Not all, but a fair few. *Shrug* I just think it’s bizarre that anyone, professional or not, can make a sweeping statement about what a fictional character has or doesn’t have, especially when discussing a disorder that can vary from person to person so greatly. That’s all.
Bold part mine. THANK YOU.
While it may be harmful that Sherlock, according to them, is not an accurate portrayal of the disorder, it is much more harmful, in my opinion, to just address it as “oh, he’s just an asshole”. Regardless of if their portrayal is accurate or not, actually acknowledging that Sherlock is non-neurotypical in some way (which has been discussed for YEARS, not just in the BBC universe) would be a lot better than having hardly any non-neurotypical people in the media at all. For the most part, we’re invisible. Either that or we’re a represented as a stereotyped, one dimensional character. Sherlock may not be ACCURATE (according to the op) but he’s definitely not one-dimensional.
Many, MANY aspies and autistic people identify with some of the things Sherlock does. And saying all this shit right to their face is pretty damn insulting.
Sherlock may not show all the signs of what a psychiatrist thinks someone on the spectrum is, but in no way shape or form is this character neurotypical. Nothing, not even professionals, can convince me otherwise. I’m not, as this poster pointed out just “skewing my perception” of him just because I have asperger syndrome. How dare they think that’s what I am doing.
You have no right to tell me what my perception of something should be. Absolutely NONE, even though you have experts to back you up. It’s patronizing and it needs to stop.
Love you for writing this. :) I think one of the reasons some people dislike the notion that Sherlock is on the autism spectrum is because they associate a ‘disorder’ with being ‘troubled’. Steven Moffat has vehemently insisted more than once that Sherlock is not generally an unhappy man. But I think this shows a misconception about aspies - they aren’t necessarily unhappy, or struggling, or suffering. Take my dad, again - sure, life can be frustrating for the people around him when they’re trying to get some concept through to him, but he himself is perfectly content - as long as no-one asks him to deviate too much from his routine, and as long as he can spend as much time as possible studying and cataloging birds (a 50 year long obsession), he’s one of the happiest men I know.
I think with Sherlock the crux of the debate is: is he truly unable to recognise certain social cues, or is he choosing to ignore them out a sense of superiority, or, has he willfully closed down that part of his brain in order to devote it to what he really cares about? Personally, I think it’s a combination of the three.
But we’re all free to interpret him how we want. These ambiguities are what allows him as a character to resonate with so many, in a variety of different ways. That’s the best kind of fictional character. :)