Small Informational Bit for All You Fanfiction Writers and Rpers Out There on Creating Autistic Characters
As a person with mild autism, representation by society and by people bothers me as, as you all know many things are warped and changed to make them seem better or worse.
Autism isn’t one set version of tics or irritants, nor is it a single trait thing. It takes on a lot of different traits in a lot of different people.
(This list is based off of my own experience, please tell me if yoy have anything I should add or change.)
When writing an autistic character…
-Figure out the senses your character is sensitive to. Sound, touch, ect. (I’m very sensitive to being touched by people who I don’t know well or out of the blue.)
-Don’t use an autistic character’s anxiety/addictive personality/tendancy to self harm to romanticize them. This goes for everything but with this specifically…Just don’t.
-Learn about receations to phobias and things they dislike. (For me, they tend to be bigger than other peoples and louder but it varies)
-YOUR CHARACTER IS MORE THAN THEIR DISABILITY. I cannot stress this enough. Even though they interact and react differently they should still have intrests, quirks hobbie ect.
-Look at the severity of their diagnosis and how it was treated by family and friends. Was it mild? Or severe? Did their parents work with them or did they dimiss/ignore it?
-Impulsively is not a regulated thing limited to only exciting events or happy things. (Sometimes I spazz while working on essays or just laying around .)
-Eye contact. This is rather imporatant. Your character may not look people in the eyes when talking to them or they may struggle with it period. This is completely normal. (I tend to duck my head or look upwards as opposed to looking at someone straight on.
-Empathy…Occasionally other people’s emotions are completely bypassed or things are done impulsively with no regard for the other people involved.
-Routine…Okay so, I have quite a bit on this one. For me, this manifests in being on time or someone else being late and in the fact that it is difficult to break or add things to my routine. But for some people a break in routine can be a huge irritant and can ruin an entire day or even cause a break down. Routines come before impulsivity.
-Repetition is also a big one. It can be words or phrases or like above, actions or a series of actions.
-Learning varies from person to person with some people having ADD like traits to others who absorb information extremely well.
Guys….Please, please, please don’t generalize people who are autistic as people who act like children or are less intelligent. It’s impolite and casts a bad stigma on those individuals.