Friday, January 7, 2011

What Does Blossom Know Anyway?

I have blogged in the past about how the television show The Big Bang Theory does an amazing job of portraying Asperger's through the character of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, even though the writers never intended Sheldon to have Asperger's (click here for the post). This season Sheldon has a girlfriend named Amy who is played by Mayim Bialik of Blossom fame.

Mayim Bialik has disagreed with some people's assessment of Sheldon having Asperger's, however. According to Blossom, I mean Mayim, Sheldon has severe OCD. Well, why should I believe what a woman who played Blossom says! Like she has any credentials under her belt.

Well, actually, she does have some pretty solid credentials. More so than some crazy woman whose only credential is blogging about her daughter with Asperger's five days a week, spouting off like she's some kind of expert! Ahem.

Anyway, Mayim Bialik received her PHd at UCLA in neuroscience and studied Autism Spectrum Disorders. She did her thesis on OCD.

So, why am I disagreeing with the good doctor when I don't have her credentials? For one thing, she stated (see here for the article--check out the first comment too) that she never watched the show before she appeared on it. Therefore, her conclusions are based on limited information. Second, her specialty was on OCD, so she would see everything through the OCD filter, just like I see everything through an Asperger's filter. Lastly, she does describe Sheldon as being on the spectrum. So, assuming there was no speech delay, wouldn't that pretty much qualify as an Asperger's diagnosis?

And yes, I'm aware I'm spending a lot of time discussing the diagnosis of a fictional character. I enjoy it, bugger off!

What are your thoughts? Do you think Sheldon has Asperger's?

16 comments:

  1. Honestly, I do not see what all the fuss is about with that show. Maybe I live with too many geeks already :)

    I heard a great interview with the actor who plays Sheldon. It was on NPR, maybe Fresh Air. He said Sheldon doesn't not have Asperger's. He said that although there may be some traits in common he & the writers wouldn't want the responsiblity of trying to represent that population without getting it right. I think he's probably borderline.

    I believe everyone has some spectrum-like traits, and his might be just a bit more prevalent than most people's.

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  2. We love Big Bang Theory in our house; the kids adore Sheldon and relate to him the most. He certainly has Asperger's characteristics and he requires accommodations for his traits.

    He's a good role model in many ways (his brilliance, curiosity, honesty), but an even better role model is Leonard, who manages to combine extreme geekiness with a compassion for others, especially Sheldon, that I hope the girls will choose to emulate. Much as I like Sheldon, the world is easier for folks like Leonard.

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  3. Ooh, I must go to youtube and watch a few episodes, don't have it this side of the pond yet :) Jen

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  4. I have only seen it a couple of times. Maybe that's why I felt a maternal type connection with that character! haha. I'm going to have to go back and watch some more. The few I saw were hysterical.

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  5. I haven't seen this show so I can't really give an opinion. Now I'm curious though!

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  6. I LOVE Big Bang Theory! I even have a Sheldon T-shirt that has his face and Bazinga written on it! I tend to think that Sheldon probably has Asperger's, but I kind of like it that they don't come out and say it, it might get too stereotypical that way. I think it's such a funny show!

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  7. We love BBT, but we haven't watched it yet this season. I would say, although I'm not an expert, that Sheldon is more like the student with Asperger's I taught than the student with OCD. Now I want to go catch up on the shows I recorded!

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  8. HA, was this b/c I posted that article about her? OOPS! Anywho, I am not really sure if I see Aspergers in Sheldon. I see a genius who lacks social skills, but who is pretty dang good at KNOWING what he is doing wrong and knowing what he lacks. Does a person with Aspergers always say, hey, I can't read facial expressions, so please explain this to me? Isn't the whole point that they don't realize they can't recognize them? What I really see is a super smart, egomaniac...ha...who does have OCD tendencies and probably some personality disorder. I really am not 100% sure I see Autism, though...but I don't have a fancy PhD either.

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  9. I've never watched the show though I've heard it's received amazing reviews...maybe I'll have to tune-in one day and offer my less than credentialed advice...(I'm sure you know way more, and I'd trust you diagnosis first.)

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  10. No question Sheldon does has aspergers syndrome. Heck both of my aspies so highly identify with him its amazing. In fact our psychiatrist even says that people mistake the obsessiveness of autism with OCD. They are two very different things and maybe Dr. Bialik doesn't know how to differentiate like those of us who actually live with the issues. :)

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  11. Then there's the fact that OCD is very often comorbid. It's very possible for Sheldon to have both issues. As to the person who wondered if an adult with AS would be self-aware enough to recognize his failings...in my experience the answer is yes, provided that he is very high-functioning. My son (turning 21soon) is quite able to state that he has trouble remembering faces or that he is uncomfortable approaching strangers to ask for help.

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  12. I do not watch this show but I am a pre-k teacher and I have had several children with aspergers, that were not identified until much later in their school careers. I think that every child is unique and it I celebrate when any child does well. Congrats to your daughter and her accomplishments in school and in life!

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  13. Blossom is a doctor? Who knew!

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  14. i never saw the show but i would say he does from what i heard. i watched blossom though when i was a kid...lol.

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  15. I haven't seen the show so I can't comment there.

    But...wow, kinda impressed Blossom has a PhD!

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