Updated: Feb 15
Professional book editor in the UK details how to develop fictional characters with autism spectrum disorder to ensure that they're realistic, relatable and representative!
Have you read any novels that include characters with Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Do you know of any books that have characters with Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Can you list any fictional characters on the spectrum from any books you have read?
I think I know the answers to these questions:
You haven't unless you've sought them out specifically.
Nope, maybe one, at a push, two?
Again, nope, maybe one, at a push, two?
I can't force you to read or write books that include characters with autism spectrum disorder, but this fantastic community deserves more positive recognition within the fictional world. Maybe then, people on the spectrum wouldn't feel so alone, and more neurotypical people would understand them a little better.
With this in mind, I hope to spark some ideas of how to create lovable, relatable, and realistic characters who have autism spectrum disorder, while also leaving you with a myriad of questions to think about when doing so.
By the end of this post, you will hopefully have a clearer insight into how to write characters with autism, and how to fully develop a character in creative writing.
Everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder is different. As said by Stephen Shore: "Once you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism."
As a result, some of the traits, actions, behaviours, and coping mechanisms I proceed to discuss may not resonate with you or relate to someone you know, but that's because everyone with autism is affected differently.
There may also be things in this article that you deem stereotypical, so I apologise if I cause any offence. My goal is to try and give people a broader understanding of the autism community and how best to provide them with a realistic voice in more books