I was never particularly fond of the TV show big bang theory. Mostly because anything with a laugh reel sets my teeth on edge. Also because people like to “mock” me by comparing some of my autistic traits to those of Sheldon Cooper.
I know a lot of people who know of this show think Sheldon is on the spectrum. There are those who point out that Sheldon is obviously autistic, and there is something wrong with him, and those who say they actually have children with autism and this isn’t it. The problem as I see it is that as a whole people see things as black or white. They don’t do shades of grey well, and can’t seem to understand what a spectrum is, and how you can be more or less functional than another person with the same diagnosis. But I digress.
The biggest continuing problem I have with big bang theory is that while they represent Sheldon as someone with autism traits, they act as if there is something wrong with him. Like wrong as in it needs to be fixed.
In recent seasons he got a girlfriend, moved in, basically completely mainstreamed. The implication here is that there was something wrong with the way Sheldon was before and that he is better now. More upsetting is the implication that the way he was acting was basically a choice, and once he chose to, he could overcome all his problems and become normal. So those of us with spectrum disorders could you know, just choose to stop being so weird and get over it.
I don’t care that Hollywood doesn’t understand how these things work, but they need to stop representing mental health issues that they don’t understand as things that are easily fixable. The last thing we need is another source of misinformaton telling the neurotypical what they always secretly suspected, if we just made an effort we could be just like them