Technically, Asperger Syndrome is no longer included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Instead, it has been folded into the autism spectrum disorder, which encompasses a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that are distinguished by repetitive behaviors as well as serious challenges when it comes to social interaction. Regardless, Asperger’s Syndrome used to refer to a milder sort of autism spectrum disorder, meaning that people who were diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder possessed normal capabilities relative to other people who were diagnosed with other autism spectrum disorders.
Does Sheldon Cooper Have Asperger Syndrome?
Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory has often been speculated to be someone with Asperger Syndrome. For proof, look no further than the numerous articles that have been written about the issue as well as the discussions that have sprung up around them over the course of the sitcom’s existence. Naturally, there is a wide range of opinions about whether Sheldon has Asperger Syndrome or not.
First, it should be mentioned that the show-makers have stated that the character was not written with the intention of him being interpreted as someone with Asperger Syndrome. They acknowledge that the character shows behaviors that are often associated with people with Asperger Syndrome, but they remain insistent that both in-setting and out-of-setting, no one can be sure whether Sheldon has it or not because he has never been diagnosed. Suffice to say that this is a somewhat wishy-washy position, which isn’t helped by a rather unfortunate statement that they don’t want to confirm whether Sheldon has Asperger’s Syndrome or not because they don’t want to be limited by what such an individual would and wouldn’t do.
Second, Jim Parsons shares the show-makers’ position but some of his statements make it clear that he thinks that Sheldon shows behaviors that are often associated with people with Asperger Syndrome. In fact, he has stated that his performance as the character has been influenced by a memoir written by John Elder Robinson, an active member of the autism rights movement who has worked with KISS, Milton Bradley Company, Simplex, and ISOREG in a wide range of careers. As a result, it is no wonder that there is such an enormous number of people who believe that Sheldon has Asperger Syndrome.
Summed up, there is no real official answer to the question of whether Sheldon has Asperger Syndrome or not. Furthermore, it seems probable that there will be no official answer for the foreseeable future because of the show-makers’ chain of reasoning. However, it is important to note that there are a lot of people who believe that he does, including a fair number of people who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Some of these people see Sheldon as a positive figure because of his lack of hesitation to be who he is, whereas others are not so fond of what they interpret to be jokes about autism without a willingness to acknowledge that they are jokes about autism. In this as in other things, people are people, meaning that they have a wide range of opinions about the issue that cannot be summed up in a single succinct sentence.