By which I mean, of course, Sheldon Cooper. Off of that ‘Big Bang Theory’ on the telly.
Yes, I now have a personal stake in the debate that rages about the benefits of mainstream visibility and its drawbacks. It is an issue I have seen – and faced – before with the LGBT community (of which I am part only in name. Aspie = no social, remember?)
So yes, while it is heartening to see someone, somewhere on TV entering into people’s hearts and minds whilst displaying many of the typical traits of the autism spectrum, it is equally damn frustrating when, in response to revealing my own diagnosis, people say, “Oh like Sheldon Cooper, you mean?”
To which I can only really say no, not like Sheldon. Not at all “like Sheldon”. And begin a long and impassioned rant on the subject until they are under no illusion that I do not appreciate having my personal experience of autism – and living with it – overshadowed by a fictional TV character whom, were he officially diagnosed as being on the spectrum, would have a hugely different experience and many of his own traits.
In short, I am my own person. We are all our own people. Autism or not, we remain individuals and we do not like being lumped in as one quirky group of “otherness”.
So stop it, please.