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Dose Jim Parsons play Sheldon like he has a mild case of autism


Rhys_Sutherland
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when I first introduced the show to my friend, he kept insisting Sheldon had Asperger's. he was trying to convince me by pointing out Sheldon's characteristics and comparing them to symptoms of Asperger's. and it's not that Sheldon doesn't display those characteristics, he just isn't meant to have the disorder(s). he's just a quirky genius.

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I would say yes but to keep things open for the character they won't say this. There have been some fans with aspergers on here talking about their similarities to Sheldon. It's like looking in a mirror for some of them.

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I don't think so, he just plays his character really well. Maybe he has watched people with that illness & copied their ways for his role. He tries to think his better then others when really his not cos he still needs his friends to help him & his mum by his side. If his ordering system goes out of whack it's chaos for him, he slightly looses it. I think it just shows he hasn't got it all together as he makes out to be.

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The show is very strongly directed. Something that Jim has spoken about often. So to answer your question, I should have said no, Jim does not play the character as if he is autistic. Jim plays him as he is directed too, and very well indeed!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

Is true that he exhibits a lot of characteristics of Asperger's (and for the case, so does Amy) and it is true that the Aspie community (to which I belong, since I have a diagnosed Asperger) do take both of them as one of their own (a lot of Asperger's blogs and websites have both of them as favorites) but I agree with both Jim and the producers of the show on refusing to label him.

For once, as much as I love both Sheldon and Amy, and despite adoring them to bits, by being such widely known and popular characters, label them as Aspies ofically on the show, could really backfire into stereotypes for Asperger's and to be honest, it is the last thing we need.

In another aspect, the aspect of the show itself, labeling him as such would also limit the writer's storylines, as well as it would change the dynamics of the show, since if he is labeled as such, whenever the other characters make fun of him for his quirks, etc, it would change from humorous to mean, since they would be making fun of his sindrome, not of himself. By keeping themselves from labeling him (also why I think they also refuse to label him as asexual) they prevent themselves of any issues with that as well.

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That's a very good point, Sursonica!

I am also opposed to labeling Sheldon. He's fine just the way he is, and there's a logical explanation for why he is this way which doesn't have to be "oh, he has THIS or THAT, case closed". Labeling Sheldon with a syndrome would be very counterproductive due to both limiting the artistic freedom and treatment of the character on the show, and also pidgeonholing people who actually have it.

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Thank you Sursonica. I think exactly the same thing. I posted a while back on another thread and I  suggested the change in Sheldon (Jim playing him with more emotion content) was not the fault of Amy or boredom by the writers but because they had realised the comparison to Aspergers was attracting too much attention. I'm still convinced this was instrument in the change in Sheldon. No one agreed with my post at the time. But to my mind he's a very fine example. :icon_cheesygrin:

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I have to say there's a lot of confusion out there and on my part as to what is aspergers and what it is not. I think the show would be safe if they continued to play sheldon the way he is, because he shows so many crazy traits, I don't think there is a way to really label him this way or that.

I personally feel he displays more obsessive compulsive disorder traits than anything else. Amy even told sheldon so in an episode after he knocked on her door.

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Netmouse started this great thread of a children's book about the condition. There's also some interesting replies.

http://forum.the-big-bang-theory.com/thread-1882.html?highlight=aspergers

Generally OCD's don't have a problem understanding humour, facial expressions and social interaction. But as everyone has said limits are not good for the show. They are moving his character away from the comparison, having Amy mention OCD in my opinion is a sign.

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Netmouse started this great thread of a children's book about the condition. There's also some interesting replies.

http://forum.the-big-bang-theory.com/thread-1882.html?highlight=aspergers

Generally OCD's don't have a problem understanding humour, facial expressions and social interaction. But as everyone has said limits are not good for the show. They are moving his character away from the comparison, having Amy mention OCD in my opinion is a sign.

Thanks, I've read the thread before.

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

the thing is, Asperger's Syndrome never comes alone, as I usually say.. "it always brings a friend" and other disorders, specially OCD is very commonly found in people with ASD (me, for example).. other common comorbidities are SPD, ADHD, Tourette’s, etc.

So, having traits of OCD does not discard Asperger... on the contrary, it would reinforce that notion.

http://www.autism-help.org/comorbid-disorders-autistic-spectrum.htm

then again, as I said before, I still refuse to label him, either as OCD or Asperger's as I've said before, since he is a fictional character and doing so, would backfire.

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the thing is, Asperger's Syndrome never comes alone, as I usually say.. "it always brings a friend" and other disorders, specially OCD is very commonly found in people with ASD (me, for example).. other common comorbidities are SPD, ADHD, Tourette’s, etc.

So, having traits of OCD does not discard Asperger... on the contrary, it would reinforce that notion.

http://www.autism-help.org/comorbid-disorders-autistic-spectrum.htm

then again, as I said before, I still refuse to label him, either as OCD or Asperger's as I've said before, since he is a fictional character and doing so, would backfire.

Yeah they refused to answer questions on the subject and the character is changing track now. So I agree.

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  • 3 weeks later...

the thing is, Asperger's Syndrome never comes alone, as I usually say.. "it always brings a friend" and other disorders, specially OCD is very commonly found in people with ASD (me, for example).. other common comorbidities are SPD, ADHD, Tourette’s, etc.

So, having traits of OCD does not discard Asperger... on the contrary, it would reinforce that notion.

http://www.autism-help.org/comorbid-disorders-autistic-spectrum.htm

then again, as I said before, I still refuse to label him, either as OCD or Asperger's as I've said before, since he is a fictional character and doing so, would backfire.

Yeah they refused to answer questions on the subject and the character is changing track now. So I agree.

______________________________________________________

IMO i think Sheldon is just quirky, yes he shows signs of various things but he is open to things changing at the last minute and going along with it and if somebody was that overthetop OCD they would not leave food and drink on the coffee table overnight either

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I think he has some kind of disorder, as for what...i'm not sure. They always seem to claim geniuses have something. As for what?? Nothing strikes me as weird about Sheldon. He's strange yes. I have no problem with him. He's atleast honest....even if he comes across as delusional.

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I would say yes but to keep things open for the character they won't say this. There have been some fans with aspergers on here talking about their similarities to Sheldon. It's like looking in a mirror for some of them.

My wife has Asperger's Syndrome and even though she knows the character doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome she can recognize that many of his quirks resemble what she has.

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I'm not sure that some of these different "syndromes" or mental problems are an attempt by ordinary people to explain intelligence that they cannot comprehend. In this PC world of ours it's not polite to mention that some people are smarter than others but deal with it. It's a fact of life. There are geniuses and then there are people who are not. The people who are not do not understand truly smart people so they invent all kinds of mental conditions. By the way, that's called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A kid is bored in school because he's not being challenged? Let's label him ADD or ADHD and feed him drugs so he'll calm down and won't be bored any more.

I've had the great good fortune to work with several geniuses over the years and I've found them to be focused, quirky and often odd but genuinely nice people. I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination but people like my wife and my daughter definitely do not understand me. My wife is a psychiatric nurse with 30 years of experience and she's diagnosed me with narcissism, ADD and Asperger's but most times she just thinks I'm a jerk.

Sorry, I get tired of all the labels.

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I would say yes but to keep things open for the character they won't say this. There have been some fans with aspergers on here talking about their similarities to Sheldon. It's like looking in a mirror for some of them.

My wife has Asperger's Syndrome and even though she knows the character doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome she can recognize that many of his quirks resemble what she has.

If you know someone with the condition it's quite easy to spot I think. I have a very dear friend on the spectrum and to me it's obvious Sheldon is there somewhere. The disconnection is perfect. Ordinarily smart people don't miss the things he does. The innocent random way of thinking is so typical and saying he's 'quirky' just doesn't cut it for me. I consider myself pretty smart but I'm under no illusions that I'm anything like Sheldon.

Still the writers have the freedom to do with him as they please because they have avoided this. Wisely so. It works for the show, but he's still a bit of a poster boy for the aspies and I think this is great.


I'm not sure that some of these different "syndromes" or mental problems are an attempt by ordinary people to explain intelligence that they cannot comprehend. In this PC world of ours it's not polite to mention that some people are smarter than others but deal with it. It's a fact of life. There are geniuses and then there are people who are not. The people who are not do not understand truly smart people so they invent all kinds of mental conditions. By the way, that's called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A kid is bored in school because he's not being challenged? Let's label him ADD or ADHD and feed him drugs so he'll calm down and won't be bored any more.

I've had the great good fortune to work with several geniuses over the years and I've found them to be focused, quirky and often odd but genuinely nice people. I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination but people like my wife and my daughter definitely do not understand me. My wife is a psychiatric nurse with 30 years of experience and she's diagnosed me with narcissism, ADD and Asperger's but most times she just thinks I'm a jerk.

Sorry, I get tired of all the labels.

True, the most intelligent man I've ever known had an IQ way above Sheldon's and he did not have aspergers.

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I have Asperger's syndrome and my wife is an autistic specialist - and Sheldon screams out AUTISM (LOL) to both of us. I believe Jim said that he (paraphrased) 'didn't see how he (Sheldon) could not be'.

The problem is where the person's character ends - and where the condition begins, it is hugely complex. Personally I am happy it is not mentioned in the show, as I wouldn't want the show to start having to be stifled by conforming to what the public/writers think aspergers is, or people seeing Sheldon and assuming all people with aspergers 'must' always do the things Sheldon does - to be a 'bonafide' autistic...

The film 'Rainman' was/is a great film and in many ways helped educate people about autism, but it also made people think that people on the spectrum always had abilities and had the same level of social skills.

It is a hugely diverse condition; my wife has worked with children that have ranged from those that cannot use the toilet, dress themselves etc; to others that at only 12/13 have written books and have extreme individuality.

For me the the one thing that unites autism is originality in the way things are perceived and also a heightened sensory ability.

Matt

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It's interesting to meet some Aspies right here. From whatever I've heard and read about it, Sheldon does seem to be remarkably similar to the description of characteristics. And in many ways, so am I; I've never been diagnosed, and that isn't so easy in my country, but every online test I've taken tells me that it's 'likely'. I sometimes half-wish I were diagnosed, rather than just being known as socially awkward and shy.

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