RESOURCE Asperger's Syndrome in Characters

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by The Mood is Write, May 26, 2016.

  1. So, I have a lot of them myself. It's a little hard for me to describe how we work, though, but a friend just shared a link on facebook (thanks @Xippix !) and it's pretty spot-on. I hope it helps someone who wants to play a character with Asperger's Syndrome.

    If you have any questions, don't hold back!

    Asperger's Traits

    This link mostly applies to female characters. I'll post one for males when I find it, but male and female Aspies do have distinct enough differences that looking at the traits of the other sex may lead to the belief that a person doesn't have it.
     
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  2. As a male with Asperger's I wanted to say that that list was painfully accurate, so I'm not too sure about male and female Aspies being too different.
     
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  3. Aye aye. I didn't want to make any assumptions on it, since I've heard that females are harder to diagnose for a variety of reasons. Thanks for your input! <3
     
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  4. As an aspie myself, it's nice to see resources for realistic depiction! We could use more sympathetic aspie characters and fewer caricatures :)
     
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  5. Aspies for the win!
     
  6. Wow! Beautiful resource. I'll keep this in mind! I'm not diagnosed as autistic but the fact that all of them describe me as a person, I think, it says something.
     
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  7. This is very interesting, I especially like the second one that was a conversation, it really grabbed me! Thanks for these resources, I'm always looking to understand people different from myself so that I can portray them respectfully and accurately in my stories and rps. Just today I was considering how to make an aspergers or autistic character that was not 'just' a non-neurotypical character so that people that were not neurotypical could have more of a voice in my stories and bring a new perspective. I'm really glad I came across this today.
     
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  8. Glad to offer some insight! If you have any questions the stuff above missed, you can feel free to post them in here, and I'll answer them, or someone else might.
     
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  9. I do have one question actually, I was wondering if you had any advice on what to stay away from when writing characters with Aspergers or autism so that I am not accidentally going along with stereotypes or being bland in my writing of said characters. Other then the obvious of trying to make them multidimensional and interesting.
     
  10. Hm. The biggest trap people seem to fall into is that they mistake an Aspie's devoted interest to a subject (and thus practice with it) as an innate talent. Our brains just really get into a subject, and we hone our skills with it, and don't really think about doing anything else. I often spend so much time writing that I forget to shower!

    However, Aspies are also high functioning. We can learn to cope, learn to act normal, that sort of thing. I can last an hour acting normal before it gets too exhausting to keep up. Some people can last longer, and some shorter.

    There's a lot of social anxiety, too, cuz we feel we need to do the "correct" actions and responses to a given situation, and this is usually increased by those of us who went to public school, because "strange" kids are often bullied.
     
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  11. Yeah, I could see that, I find it interesting though, the fact that most Aspies and the like just seem like they are on a more extreme end of social introversion and awkwardness. I personally go through a lot of what was described but on a far small, and thus easier to manage scale. I find it interesting just how unmagical and even relatable the mind of someone different from me in such a fundamental way is. Which makes me wonder, how do you(and for anyone else wanting to add in) feel when more neurotypical people try to relate to your disorders with their own personal daily struggles?
     
  12. I find it pleasant, because to me, they're trying to reach out with understanding (and maybe even friendship). I can't speak for others, but it's a nice feeling, because I don't often feel I relate to others, even within my own family.

    They make jokes that I speak another language, but in reality, they seem to be the foreign ones. None of them seem to really feel passionate about their interests, and I don't understand their feelings.

    My mom reads everything she can about both Autism and Asperger's, though, and my dad wants me to write a book about its impact on my life. My brother understands that I like to chat with him, but also understands that shorter conversations are easiest for me. My extended family feels like a bunch of strangers, though.
     
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  13. I don't know if that questionnaire/conversation with the second link Mood posted was real (I mean; the person asking questions was serious about what they were asking about, with some of their questions), but regardless whoever was asking those questions in the second one needs to assume a lot less. I'm not saying people should be sensitive/gentle, I'm saying they should be open to learning about an individual and not making ignorant profiling statements about individuals for them. Like, seriously. There's ASS in assume for a reason. That also applies to any trait lists or other things that are there explaining about any 'definition' of people, when it comes to any culture or gender or way of thought. You should only take it as vague guidelines and not automatically apply it entirely to every single individual that you feel 'fits' into that definition. Profiling does exist for a reason I guess, but it's also taken to an extreme a lot.

    All that aside, this is all interesting so thank you for making the post. I've never thought about making an autistic/Asperger's character before, mostly because I actually don't think about it all that often. If someone mentions they're autistic to me in real life, I just say 'ok' and then I don't use that to define who they are. I use how we interact with each other to define who they are. It helps that I know very few people in general, regardless of who they are!

    When thinking on it, I think one of my longer-standing characters in one of my settings acts in a few ways similar to the Asperger's Traits that you mentioned, but I didn't make them to be anything in particular. Just unique. I might actually try to incorporate some of this into her design, because I think it fits the overall feel I was looking for. So I'm really happy you've provided this insight!

    As for me myself, I'm just your everyday introvert with nothing notable about them. Woo.
     
    #14 Xena Jade, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  14. I'm fairly certain it is a fictional conversation, meant to enlighten readers that making assumptions instead of educating themselves and getting to know a person will lead to... well, difficulties, to put it simply.

    Asperger's Syndrome is a psychological rewiring of a brain, and most people who have it share at least a few of the traits from the first link I shared: maybe not all of them, and maybe they've learned coping mechanisms to work around their wiring, but it comes down to 'when you're writing, pay attention to how you depict these people'.

    Especially for me, since I have it and write it. ♥

    It could be an interesting challenge for you. It involves thinking differently, and a lot of that is learning to be able to accept that your character will do things in a way that is not standard or socially 'correct' (read: "normal" with triple-bolded quotation marks). I know for me, that's my biggest catching point.

    Also, that's the best way to go about it: say ok and move on to get to know us. I use the statement "I'm autistic." as a sort of warning, to let people know "my mind works differently than yours, please be patient with me". If they decide to ask questions, I answer as best I can, and if they say 'ok' and move on, that's also fine with me.

    Yesssss. Ahahaha! Another one to join the army!

    I mean uh... yes, good idea! I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. ♥

    Introverts unite! But I'm sure you have notable stuff about you, just maybe not Asperger's. ;)
     
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