Y’all know that you almost never hear from me. But this time I feel almost compelled to say a few things about the uprising tide of BS I feel coming from this Metro article about The Imitation Game and from the Cumberbatch’s statements about autism.
Let me just point out that I have a Masters degree in Special Education and a PhD in Behavioral Psychology, being to this time a highly specialized professional in the field of autism research and autism treatment. So, before any of those very stupid, massive repressed (in the freudian sense, yes), & often sad kids from Your Fave Is Problematic - and other people as dumb as - start to rampage about this and that, allow me to “enlighten” (ha!) you:
CUMBERBATCH IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
He is right and was spot on about his assertion that “a lot of people are very lazy with that”. There is a certain trend on wild diagnose fictional characters as being on the autistic spectrum. This is just lame and worst, it’s dangerous. It gives families a false perception that being on the spectrum gives their children special gifts and powers. This is a myth: 30 years of scientific research shows that under 10% of autistic people will develop high abilities. The majority of child in the spectrum will need a lot of effort and hard work from parents, family, and professionals to even function and to have an autonomous and happy life.
It is lazy also because this need to label different personalities, marginalized person, and those that don’t fit the parameters of normality with patological terms shows us only how narrow these arguments are.
Sorry about the rant. But sometimes someone has to stand up for Science in this world.
The article is here:
TIFF: Benedict Cumberbatch is sick of people calling his characters autistic
By Ned Ehrbar
Published: September 7, 2014
In “the Imitation Game,” Benedict Cumberbatch plays the introverted, socially awkward math genius Alan Turing, who built the machine that cracked the German’s WWII Enigma machine and paved the way for modern computers. Many are drawing parallels between Turing and Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes, suggesting he’s specializing in characters who exist somewhere on the autism spectrum. But Cumberbatch wants them to cut out that nonsense.
“Though Sherlock is an immediate comparison, they’re so different. Sherlock is a sociopathic show-off, and Alan was anything but that,” Cumberbatch tells Metro. “I don’t think he was on the spectrum. I think a lot of people are very lazy with that.”
It’s a suggestion Cumberbatch has heard raised again and again, and he’s frankly had enough of it. “I think it’s a really dangerous thing to toy with that,” he says. “People talk about me doing that quite a lot and that being a good thing for people who are on the spectrum, which is great. But I don’t go into a job going, ‘Is this autism? Is this Asperger’s? Is this some other form of slight learning difficulty or disability?’ I’m very wary of that, because I’ve met people with those conditions. It’s a real struggle all the time. Then these people pop up in my work and they’re sort of brilliant, and they on some levels almost offer false hope for the people who are going through the reality of it.”