Friday, November 14, 2008

Aspie Characters

Like Sarah Palin, characters with Asperger's Syndrome are showing up everywhere on TV shows. The latest one was a cardiac surgeon last night on Grey's Anatomy. Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves) played the surgeon a bit like Rainman. She was a top surgeon that the chief wanted on the staff of Seattle Grace, but I doubt she'll return since her parting words to Bailey were along the lines of how she didn't recognize cues for sarcasm and jokes but that she did know when she was being manipulated and made fun of. Then she said she didn't like that hospital.

Last week a savant very similar to Rainman was on NUMB3RS. Charlie, the math genius, asked his brother if exceptional talent in math and poor social skills sounded familiar and then added that most of the ones he knew were higher functioning than this guy was.

There's the attorney "Hands" on Boston Legal who has Asperger's, and Tempe Brennan on Bones has the characteristics. Mr. Spock, of course, from Star Trek. Then there's Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.

With more emphasis on autism, they are bound to appear as characters on shows. Now that I'm learning more about it because of my grandson, quite a few people I've taught with and known have it, I'm sure. We just weren't that aware of it then.

I told my son and daughter-in-law that Brendan and my cat Brigit remind me of each other at times. There is something to this, actually. Many of the traits of Asperger's are cat characteristics. There's even a book about it, and I'm going to order it!


Andrew B. said...

That does it. I'm taking Mr. Fluffers to Foxwoods with me tonight!

frogponder said...

I don't know if I've told you yet but one of my very close friends has two boys with Aspergers. One is 26 and the other 20. Her husband has a home based computer consulting business that he started up so the boys could work, with him, at home. Eventually they should be able to tend to the business themselves and he will go back to work in his regular profession. It has been a long road for them as they didn't get decent diagnoses for the boys until they were in high school.

She now works for the same school district as I do. When a deal can be struck to get around the whole seniority mess she is the perfect aide to work with our AS kids. Right now she works with boys with mental illness (bipolar and the like) and home based disabilities, more Lost Boys.

frogponder said...

I want to amend my last statement as it reads all wrong. That should say disabilities based on a sad and dysfunctional home - that is why they are Lost Boys.

Joy said...

I knew what you meant, FP, and also know why you amended it. I do that on comments, too.

Welcome, Andrew! Love your blog (ZooBorn)!

Berry Blog said...

Nice sharing FP.
Joy...certainly am experiencing this too...doyou wonder if blogging and the internet in general is greatly reponsible for making people more aware, rather than waiting to read about someone's find in a monthly periodical?
the association thing with me lately I Franz Kafka- seems like every book I pick up lately has a reference in someway to kafka characters or plots. I am currently reading what would seem to be a totally dry book about libraries and how they serve or don't serve us. Very subtle and brilliant. and the guy can't resist referring to kafka. who'd have thunk?

Berry Blog said...

Oh yes, I too wish to amend my comment. The cat reference just made such sense it was more than just funny. Spock too.