Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

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Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:30 pm

I was recently approached by a member of the site with an inquiry as to how to properly play a character with Asperger's Syndrome, and after writing my response to that person, decided to reconstruct it as an article for all of y'all to use for reference. I have Asperger's myself, as some of you in the community may be aware, and in addition, I actually spoke at a recent Asperger's conference. One of the things I stressed (as did another speaker at the same conference) as very important in understanding folks on the spectrum is this: "If you've met on person on the spectrum, you've met one person on the spectrum." This is an adage that has been repeated again and again, but it rings true.

No two people with Asperger's will have the same sort of triggers - sensory or otherwise - or react in the exact same way in various situations. Of course, the causes and manifestations of their reactions may be similar, as the nature of Asperger's is the same in everyone. How it chooses to express itself will differ. Thus, any character with Asperger's - or with any other mental disorder, intellectual disability, or disability - will be a unique creation, just as will any character without such a 'disability'. This, of course, only means to include well-developed characters, and not Mary Sues.

No two characters on the spectrum will be alike, and so no two characters will be played in an identical manner. There is no one right way to play a character with Asperger's. That being said, there are a few wrong ways:

1.) Playing exclusively into stereotypes or exaggerating stereotypes, especially negative ones. This is the same when playing characters who are specifically of a certain race or religion (i.e. playing a Black American character in a modern realistic roleplay; or playing a Muslim, Jewish, or Christian character in the same setting; or playing a young wizard or witch character in a fantastical roleplay).

2.) Not doing any research, or playing the character with very little already existing knowledge of the condition. This will result in a very inaccurate portrayal, I guarantee you. You do not need to become an expert on the topic to write well for a character with Asperger's, but you should have at least a basic knowledge to work with.

3.) Doing it to annoy someone, or to purposefully offend someone. This has as much to do with the fact of deciding your character has Asperger's as the manner in which you portray that character.

Returning to the point that each character with Asperger's will be different from one another, I have written for several characters on the spectrum. They are each created with different premises, and they each have a unique behavioral and psychological profile from one another. Here are some brief overviews of some of these characters:

Natalie Schultz, who is a forty year old woman, constantly stims with a pen in her hand, avoids eye contact, speaks very fast, and makes blunt, tactless statements at the worst possible times. She reacts weirdly to certain types of light, and to excessive blasts of noise - such as numerous explosions - as well as to developing anxiety attacks in the face of sudden changes happening all at once. She is an FBI agent in the Counterterrorism Division.

Fatin Farah, a thirty-eight year old woman, stims when anxious or uncertain by flicking her fingers against her leg, tends to avoid eye contact, and stammers or repeats herself several times when in a stressful encounter - such as when being shouted at constantly, dragged into a new and unexpected situation, or in a coercive environment. She reacts strongly to sudden or loud noise, or to things like a pen clicking or a ventilator humming. She cannot stand to be in a crowd of people. She is a computer hacker working with a terrorist organization.

Marwan Zahir, a twenty-four old man, flaps his hands when in a new situation or when he is experiencing anxiety. He has trouble with crowds of people, sudden change and stressful situations, and may lash out. Like the other two, he has trouble with relationships, but has two close friends who are his age. He is a law student in his third year.

Emily Jamison, a nineteen year old woman, has trouble responding appropriately in conversation, making eye contact, and interacting with her peers. She reacts badly to the feeling of being cornered or attacked, and can hyperfocus to the point of excluding anything else that is happening around her. She is a molecular biology student at MIT.

Tobias Halbertsma, a man in his forties or fifties, rocks when alone, and has the opposite problem of the others - he makes too much eye contact, often staring into people's eyes for too long and without blinking. He speaks in a modulated monotone voice, and in an overly pedantic and formal manner. He tends to avoid people, though he he dedicated to his work and does a thorough job. He is he Grand Inquisitor of the Church - medieval setting.

With any luck, those examples will help guide you on your way to developing a believable character with Asperger's. Now, for a more concrete, direct approach, I have included the following questions which may aid you in the process of coming to understand your character. These questions are also applicable for characters with other disorders, and some terms may be substituted for others, where appropriate, or questions revised.

1.) What sensory issues does she have? Tactile (touch), olfactory (smell, taste), auditory (sound), visual? (Examples - the smell of orange peels, air conditioners humming, the feel of velvet, neon colors, etc.) How severe are they? How does she react to them? How does she cope with them?

2.) What stims, if any, does she have? Examples - rocking back and forth or side to side, hand flapping, etc. How often does she stim, and in what kinds of situations? Is she aware of her stimming? Does she let herself stim or does she surpress it?

3.) What are her relationships with others like? Does she make friends? Are they her age, older, or younger? How many does she have? Has she ever had a romantic relationship? Do any of her friends or partners have an Asperger's diagnosis, Aspie-like traits, or a relative on the spectrum?

4.) How open is she about her diagnosis? Who knows about it, when and why did she tell them, and how does she discuss it? When was she diagnosed, and how did it come about?

5.) Conversely, is she in denial or not diagnosed? Why?

6.) Does she have any particular fixations or obsessions, usually known as special interests? Examples - trains, Broadway actors, Sufism, Medieval Europe, Swahili, computers, etc. How does she pursue them?

7.) Does she have any other diagnoses or disorders? Examples - ADD, bipolar, OCD, Tourette's, etc. Are any of these misdiagnoses, and if so, why were they made and when?

8.) When she was in school, did she receive special education services? (In the United States, did she have a 504 or an IEP?) What services did she receive? How did she feel about this?

9.) What sorts of therapy does she receive? Examples - psychologist for counseling or psychotherapy, occupational therapy, social skills therapy, psychiatric medication. How does she feel about receiving these services, if any?

10.) How strictly to routine and expectation does she adhere? Basically, how does she deal with change, and what sorts of change become unbearable - and then, how does she respond?

11.) Is she part of the neurodiversity movement - which embraces autism - or is she a supporter of finding a cure?

If you would like to hear more on a specific aspect of this topic, please share your questions, comments, experiences, and such below. I would be happy to address other concerns.
​“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy

Stunning letter from autistic survivor of electric shock torture in USA

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby ViceVersus on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:46 pm

This is a very good guide. About six months ago, I made my first 'disabled' character. His name was Tony Reardon, and he had cerebral palsy.

I did extensive research on the condition itself -- from monoplegic on, everything between earliest symptoms and what it looks like in a person. Aside from that, I also tried to dig up what newspaper/magazine articles I could find detailing cute, wonderful stories about families with children who had the condition, or just (in general) people who lived with it. The intent of this was to familiarize myself with writing the external side of things. The look of someone who walks with that pronounced limp, that sort of thing.

The trickiest part for me, at least, was getting inside Tony's head. I wanted to avoid (at all costs) having him be whiney, wimpy, and generally down-on-his luck, the horrifically stereotypical handicapped kid. At the same time, I wanted to skirt the Hallmark Channel inspiration stories and have him fight his condition at all costs. It was a hard balance to strike between normalcy and being 'special.'

He had to have a history, too. He needed a childhood, teen years, an adulthood all with this disability. I had to guide him through that process, mentally come up with who he was, what he was about. Obviously you have to do this with every character you make, but as Ylanne said -- I was so intent on avoiding anything related to the Mary Sue, the fact that I now had this new side to him made things all the more engaging.

In the end, I think I did an alright job. This is a good topic to bring up.

For reference, this is a link to his first introductory post.
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:57 pm

Exactly, Sato. The most important aspect of any character is to remember that art imitates life. So must all characters be fully 'human' in that respect (I don't mean human literally, for characters of other species or races), with a profile of fears, hopes, dreams, strengths, talents, weaknesses, and such unique to him or herself. And the reasons for one's fears and hopes provide great insight into who that character is.

The same is true of characters with a disorder or disability. Yes, that will be a defining part of their character, and likely, their identity as well. But how precisely does this fit in? As another aspect of their development. It should neither be mentioned in an offhand way as an extra detail, nor should it - generally - dominate the entire character development process, or all of the posts related to that character in the roleplay.

Thank you Sato, both for your compliment and your feedback. I would share links to posts with these characters, but lacking the mental faculties, the will, and the time, will have to defer sharing those til a later date.

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Winter Tail on Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:26 am

Lemme open with some simple examples of stereotypes.

Sup? I'm a Muslim and if you call that drawing of a bearded man Mohammad, I'll suicide bomb you.

Offensive stereotype? Yes. True? A very, very, very small minority actually get offended to a violent degree.

Sup? I'm a schizophrenic, this is my other self, Jack!

Offensive? Yes. True? Not in the least, you're confusing it with MPD.

Sup? I'm black, wanna go to KFC?

Offensive? No, everyone loves KFC. Thinking a black guy liking KFC is a racist stereotype means you're just bringing up the stereotype when a guy just wants some fried chicken.

Sup, I have Asperger's, now I'm going to curl up in this corner and be oblivious to everything.

Offensive? Not really. True? Yes, this is closer to full-blown autism however.

Now, getting to my point, it's true that you have to fully research it and be careful of stereotypes. Some Muslims are offended by images of Mohammad, but the majority think the ones being offended need to stop being immature. Black people are stereotyped as loving BBQ, chicken, and watermelon, but if you see something racist in a black guy eating chicken, you're being an asshole. It's like saying a Scotsman wearing a kilt is an offensive stereotype. It's not, it's the national dress for God's sake, we just save it for special occasions.

Stereotyping race and religion can be touchy, but the issue with that touchiness usually comes from people jumping straight to conclusions. Hell, I once RPed a half-black guy for months and someone threw a bitchfit when he decided to meet with his cousin at KFC. Let's just say that person was quickly 2-day votebanned for being an idiot and rightfully so. But that's not the subject here.

Being I myself am schizophrenic and have AS, I tend to get pretty pissed when you assume things because of either of those mental issues. For example, thinking I have multiple personalities because of schizophrenia is quite offensive. Because first off, schizophrenia is mostly auditory and visual hallucinations, and paranoia. I have auditory hallucinations. But I'm not a violent axe murderer.

Second, I have AS, and there are a few things I cannot stand in terms of stimuli. Ricotta cheese for one, I can't hold it in my mouth for more than a few seconds. Also, extreme noises, can't handle them at all. I'll admit I have a mental disability, but I'm not retarded, I'm not gullible, I can't be easily manipulated, and thinking that I am is quite offensive in ways you don't want to touch with a 10ft pole.

RP is fantasy, and it's okay to increase the potency of some stereotypes, especially of mental and physical disabilities to draw more attention to them, but not every five seconds or every other post. What causes the most friction with these kinds of characters is ignorance, which is things that I've mentioned before. If you're gonna play something like this, the best thing to do is to research it, and if possible, talk to someone that actually has it. Not a psychologist or a book.

The problem with mental issues is that each manifestation is completely unique. What could be seen as an extreme stereotype could be "typical" from someone's personal experience. If you've got a problem with how someone is playing a mental problem, correct them on the facts, but don't throw a huge fit over them being a stereotype either.

The only disability I've actually played is total blindness, and the only mental issues I've played are gender identity disorder (In denial of ones biological gender), lolita (overly sexual young girl), and stockholm syndrome (feeling affection for a captor), as well as a handful of others I don't know the names of. Shockingly, I can play those roles to excellent accuracy to the point people begin to question my sanity. And yes, I've researched these to the point I'm considering a degree in psychology or counseling.

If you're wondering about my stance on autism, I'd fight tooth and nail for a cure if I could abolish the damned thing and eat lasagna again.
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Draconic's 101: Character Development of Disabled Characters

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MrMurdoch on Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:18 am

To clarify this, I'm not an expert at this. I do not have any real disability, but I tend to gravitate towards characters with them. This guide focuses mainly on physical differences. All of this information is from detailed, intense research, reading many books and online articles about similar topics with similar characters, and personal experience. I'm toning down the humor for this one, mainly because I don't think is a guide in which humor would be appropriate. But I'll have a little, don't worry. No, this does not cover everything. This guide is specifically for movement differences and similar issues for characters. Feel free to bash me here, I'm open to criticism, but have a reason, and bash nicely.

Accurate portrayal and uses of differently-abled characters[/center]
How do I portray a character with a movement difference?
You do this in about the same was as any other character. The main difference is remembering that your character will have to do some things differently. Mind that I did not say cannot do some things. Freshly-injured characters, yes, they will have some trouble doing things, but characters that have had this issue for life or for a long time would have adapted nicely. If you need an example of a disabled character, Talon is one of my original character examples. And don't refrain from using words or phrases such as 'go for a walk', because most people will, and it's not only unrealistic, but it's annoying and stupid. Period.

Secondly, note that you should make sure you...um...actually know the repercussions of having a disabled character. Get it right. If your character is paralyzed from the waist down, they'll most likely need assistance with most of their tasks. That includes things as simple as getting into the shower and breathing. Unless your character is (a) an annoying-as-hell godmodder or (b) a cyborg-like person from a sci-fi universe (I'd much prefer option b), then accurately portray them, please. It will save you some skepticism, and it will make your character more realistic.

Why would I want to make a differently-abled character?
Well, it depends. Maybe you don't make them, something might happen to your character. Maybe you do make them, whatever. Just be sure you don't shove them in the background, underestimate them, then use them only for pity/sympathy/drama. No. Do. Not. Do. It. Ever. It's annoying. Maybe you make them for personal reasons, but whatever the reason, make sure that you treat them the same as all the rest of your character. Oh, and don't always make them these angelic, admired heroes with no faults. Yeah. That's just really dumb, too.

Personality and Development
Again, they'll develop like any other character if you make them well. Keep in mind that these characters are not simply pity-magnets, and not all of them are inspiring heroes. No offense, but some are jerks. It depends on how you choose to represent the community. You can go for the overused, stereotypical, flawless, inspiring angel; but you can also go for the introverted, world-loathing jackass. Again, it all depends. I urge you to try something more realistic. Everyone has their faults. Besides this, have fun and roleplay. And FYI, depending on their abilities, they can have romantic action. Yeah. Just pointing that out. If you're only here to bash this post, which is mainly my opinion and insight into portraying different characters, then you can kindly GTFO. :3 This guide was really short, sorries. >.>[/font]

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby ViceVersus on Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:30 am

Moved Drac's post into this thread on request. She posted it as a separate topic intending to expand on what was said, but ended up wanted it merged.

There are some good points in what she has to say that totally relate to the rest of the discussion.

I think this is really a good thing to address.

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Litria Death on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:22 pm

This was very interesting. I had never heard of Asperger Syndrome before... I did try a character with Shizophrenia once, but that failed, and, now that I think about it, I think my understanding of the disease was incorrect. Anyhow, this was an intriguing topic and has helped widen my knowledge on disorders. ;)

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Village Alchemist on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:30 pm

Other than y'all's insistance on refering to Asperger's Syndrom as a disorder/disability, this was a very informative guide, thanks.

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LawOfTheLand on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:57 pm

Join the club, Winter. I have AS, and I agree that the manifestation of the condition is unique in each person. Growing up in Wisconsin, I grew to love cheese of all sorts, but in return, I cannot stand even touching suede, and for a long time my skin was extremely sensitive to anything that wasn't 100% cotton. Going over teacher notes and parental recollections from my grade school years, I was also somewhat of a hellion, breezing through math-related assignments but having to be cajoled into undertaking almost any other subject, sometimes to the point of having the privilege of being served lunch taken away from me. (Yes, I did end up in the "special education" room, and I got into my fair share of altercations that landed me in the "time-out corner," which ingeniously came equipped with its own locking door.)

I don't think I've ever deliberately made a character with a pre-existing physical or mental condition before, though (however, there was that one time when Tobias Malari limped into the bar with a ruined leg from his fight with Lamina Manira: I'm thinking of turning him into a cyborg), so I just might give this a shot in the near future.

A warning to those that might wish to play a character with a speech impediment, though: It's okay if you want to try to write as the character would speak, but please provide what the character intended to say as well (it's basically the same principle as if your character speaks a language other than English).
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:13 pm

Village Alchemist wrote:Other than y'all's insistance on refering to Asperger's Syndrom as a disorder/disability, this was a very informative guide, thanks.


I don't believe Asperger's is a disability, but I usually use the word 'disorder' because it is the most commonly accepted word. I am a part of the neurodiversity movement which believes that autism spectrum disorders are not diseases or something that needs to be fixed, and we vehemently oppose curing autistic people - instead, we encourage therapies and strategies intended to help autistic people cope with a neurotypical world, while remaining who they are. We believe autism is part of our identity.

But as regards this article, and Draconic's conclusion in his (her?! I need to learn the gender of folks on the site, especially other staff!) post, not every person on the autism spectrum is a proponent of neurodiversity - I've met a number of autistic folk who want to be cured (like Winter Tail, who posted earlier in this thread), as well as some autistic people who are completely in denial of being on the spectrum. Those are three fair extremes, but a character on the autism spectrum can be played in many different ways, just as a detective character, a terrorist character, a sorceress character, an orc character, an android character, or a high school student character can all be portrayed in thousands of varying ways.

The personality and history of the character remain of penultimate importance in the development of the character, and will be unique to that character. Your personality was developed in part by your history, which shaped your cognitive bias, worldview, and personal psychology. This is true for any well-developed character as well.

As for my own experiences? My mental processes are pretty much entirely visual, as Temple Grandin explains in Thinking in Pictures. I sometimes have delayed responses in conversation, especially over the phone or when in an otherwise stressful situation. I have extremely auditory, visual, tactitle, and olfactory sensory issues - light touch is experienced as physical pain; I cannot be too close to other people physically speaking; the most quiet or innocuous of noise are impossible to drown out - and sudden or loud noises are physically painful; I cannot look at neon or fluorescent colors or certain color combinations (as some folks from the Chat know); being in a supermarket with too many items for dozens and dozens of rows is visually overstimulating; oranges, coffee, and most cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, and cosmetic products give me a migraine within twenty feet.

I was never in a special education classroom, and only received services briefly. I'm what is often called a twice exceptional - someone who is considered gifted while also having something usually considered a disability or a disorder (you can't completely escape terminology, Village Alchemist), which means that my learning profile is different not only from neurotypicals, but also from typical gifted students and students with Asperger's Syndrome alone.

And Winter Tail - I completely agree with your other point. Being schizophrenic doesn't mean you are a serial killer waiting to happen. I know a few schizophrenic folks, and they're great people to be around. Similarly, folks with Asperger's Syndrome aren't psychopathic murderers either - John Odgren is the exception, not the rule. Aspies are far more likely to be victimized by crime than to perpetrate it, but negative stereotypes and some completely false ones abound as well.

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby RaeRaeButterfly on Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:29 am

Thanks for this, love. It was a wonderful response to my questions and I'm glad I asked you. I do have asperger's and to say that this is a disadvantage in life or a terrible thing. Sure, I'm a little childish at times, and I often argue about pointless things, but I am lucky that I have been diagnosed and people have tried to help me. I currently see our student support staff at school, instead of doing a lanuage to help me with things and to do well at school. Basically, I suck at school. I think it has to do with the fact that the teachers don't really understand me and they don't know how I work/and how I deal with certain things. In my report, one of my teachers said my tone of voice wasn't appropriate in the classroom, which could of been solved, in class, if he just asked me to be quiet. And, the only place where I truly get to be me..is when I'm in my drama class or at my dancing. Drama loves me and I love it...Oohh..and roleplaying. Maybe if fellow RPers knew that I had this disorder, the wouldn't snap at me or be mean..maybe they'd consider that I take things a little to much to heart..

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraph on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:25 am

I have Asperger's Syndrome or Asperger's Disorder as well. I tend to very much be a "grammar Nazi" much to the aggravation of of my fellow writers and authors. I don't do it because I like making people angry, no, its because I have O.C.D'S among other things. Also, I have a very hard time talking to people, even my own family. I also have an extremely difficult time to be assured. As someone who's grown up with it, and been diagnosed with Autism I can say there aren't many who can truly understand, nor play an autism off very well. That is not to say they CAN'T. But it's very much easier playing someone with cancer, to a similar disease to that effect--which I have also fought with.

Autism is a very, very difficult mental illness to properly imitate. Much like Down Syndrome.In Asperger's there are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical, their speech may sound peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetitive pattern. Clumsiness may be prominent both in their articulation and gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which usually leaves no room for more age appropriate, common interests. Some examples are cars, trains, French Literature, door knobs and hinges, cappuccino, meteorology, astronomy or history.

I take myself for an example here; I have a very 'tunnel vision' when it comes to what I like and it's not simply a preference. Its more like my brain locks onto on subject and bleeds it dry of information. Same goes for most ASP. They have a serious focus on a specialty. That coincides with their repetitive tasks that they get because Autism tends to make the mind do the same thing over and over. They are also--generally speaking of course--very, very smart people.
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:38 pm

Seraph, neither autism (or Asperger's) nor Down Syndrome are mental illnesses or mental disabilities. Autism is a developmental disability; Down Syndrome is both a developmental and an intellectual disability.

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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby TheFinalOne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:54 pm

I have often wondered if playing a character with a mental/developmental/intellectual disability can be considered politically correct. I have no such disabilities ( I may suffer from passive aggressive personality disorder but it does not sound cool or even horrible, so I am going to vehemently deny its existence in my life. This may sound like the absolute worst thing to say but you must understand that people like me, people with no noticeable disabilities, suffer from many injustices in the country I live in. Hard to believe, but a fact).

Like Ylanne said, each disorder/disability has a broad spectrum of symptoms (at least that is what I inferred from "No two characters on the spectrum will be alike, and so no two characters will be played in an identical manner.") and not all suffer from the same set of causes/effects/triggers/aftereffects. What I don't want is have some real life sufferer of the disorder to accuse me of stereotyping if my character is not perfectly accurate or played exactly as it supposed to. I don't want a small mistake to make me public enemy number one.

So as of now, if I want one of my character to be, let's say, shy/diffident, I'll add some incident in his history that will force him to be shy instead of saying he suffers from social anxiety disorder. I'm cruel to my characters that way.

I apologize if any one felt hurt or insulted by the comment. Circumstances force me to look at things with a different angle.
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:44 am

Firstly, I don't suffer from being Autistic. I only suffer from the bigotry and ableism of other people.

Secondly, in response to your first question, is it politically incorrect for a white person to play a Black, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian character? Not necessarily. Is it politically incorrect for a man to play a female character, or a cisgender heterosexual to play a gay, lesbian, bi, trans*, or queer character? Again, not automatically. There ARE dangers in each of these situations, as in a nondisabled person playIng a disabled character, but it is not automatically politically incorrect. (I'm a non-Muslim who frequently plays Muslim characters.)

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Ylanne
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby TheFinalOne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:14 am

I never said you suffered from autism or anything. I never made a comment about you. I was not referring to anyone specific when I said "real life sufferer". If you wish for me to clarify I will gladly do so.
But, if you got the feeling that I was taking a jab at you in my post, then you are sorely mistaken. If you think I will not respect or be cruel to someone just because he/she is not the same as me, then again, you are sorely mistaken. Nevertheless, I will apologize.

I agree with what you have said in the second paragraph. I never gave my opinion on the politically correctness of playing a character different from you in terms of race, gender or abilities. I was digressing and then completely lost track.

(I've always thought of political correctness as an oxymoron.)

Again, I will apologize.

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TheFinalOne
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:26 pm

I did not think you were trying to make a jab at me, be disrespectful, or be cruel; I was criticizing the language that you used (suffering) -- not criticizing or attacking you -- because that type of language is very commonplace, and unfortunately, has very far-reaching and detrimental consequences far beyond the scope of this brief encounter online. Language that pathologizes, such as "suffers" or "sufferer," has come under extensive criticism in the disability rights community, despite its very widespread and pervasive use. The vast majority of people, likely including yourself, who use that language when referring to disability or disorder, do not have any malicious, disrespectful, or cruel intentions, but the language can still be harmful and painful even in the absence of those kinds of intentions. I did not point this out and am not doing so in order to attack you or accuse you of anything, but only to make it clear to anyone who reads this thread that language like "suffers" or "sufferer" is not necessarily appropriate or accurate, and has been the subject of extensive activist, self-advocate, and academic criticism because of the societal attitudes that contribute to its use as well as the influence that it has on continuing to shape societal attitudes.

You don't need to apologize for attacking me, because I did not think that you were doing so. I only ask that you consider the impact of the language that you use on those who may read it, whether or not they are disabled.

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Ylanne
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Re: Playing Characters with Asperger's or Other Disorders

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby utahann on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:45 pm

Here's my personal view:you don't necessarily suffer from autism,in fact you can enjoy it thoroughly.For example,did certain groups,past and present,"suffer" from being in the skin God gave them? Certainly not,they suffered from discrimination and their oppressors suffered from bigotry and shame from generations to come.Everyone has obstacles in their life but that's part of Jung's classical Hero's Journey,by overcoming obstacles you can learn from them.
Have a nice day!

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utahann
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