When asked the inevitable question about whether the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper is autistic, actress Mayim Bailik’s answer floored the audience.
Bailik plays Amy, Sheldon’s love interest in the Big Bang Theory and in real life also carries her own PhD in neuroscience.
In her answer to a question about the stereotypes used in the sitcom and the characters Asperger’s-like traits she said:
“All of our characters are in theory on the neuropsychiatric spectrum, I would say.
“Sheldon often gets talked about in terms of Asperger’s or OCD. He has a thing with germs, he has a thing with numbers, he’s got a lot of that precision that we see in OCD. There’s a lot of interesting features to all of our characters that make them technically unconventional socially.
“I think what’s interesting and kind of sweet and what should not be lost on people is we don’t pathologise our characters. We don’t talk about medicating them or even really changing them.
“And I think that’s what’s interesting for those of us who are unconventional people or who know and love people who are on any sort of spectrum, we often find ways to work around that. It doesn’t always need to be solved and medicated and labelled.
“And what we’re trying to show with our show is that this is a group of people who likely were teased, mocked, told that they will never be appreciated or loved, and we have a group of people who have successful careers, active social lives (that involve things like Dungeons and Dragons and video games), but they also have relationships, and that’s a fulfilling and satisfying life.”