Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dr Sheldon Cooper – Big Bang and Asperger’s

It’s an ongoing question. Is Dr Sheldon Cooper from television's The Big Bang Theory on the Autism spectrum or isn’t he? While the writers and creators of the show say that they didn’t write the character as having Asperger’s Syndrome, Sheldon exhibits lots of classic symptoms of both Asperger’s and OCD.

Just consider his love of routine.

• He sits in the same place and won’t sit anywhere else
• He has a set schedule for toilet and bathroom use
• He has a set schedule for weeknight activities
• He orders the same food every time and won’t accept variations
• He doesn’t understand emotion in others.
• He can only accept logical and fact
• He is socially awkward
• Limited interests
• Brilliant in certain areas

I don’t think the show will ever classify his character in any way. As Sheldon himself says, “My Mother had me tested” and nothing came of it.

What I love about The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon is that it takes away some of the mystery for people who don’t really understand ASD. It shows a real human who is coping in the real world, despite his own set of peculiarities. It shows a man who is capable of loving in his own way and who is willing to try to do things the way others do them if it’s really necessary.

Look at the way he looked after the character of Penny when she hurt her shoulder. He might have struggled with the cuddling but he managed a “there, there.” He also managed to sing his own special song “Soft Kitty” to help her settle to sleep.

Does Dr Sheldon Cooper have Asperger’s Syndrome? Who cares? He’s loyal and he’s lovable and it doesn’t really matter how he’s “classified”, does it?

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