Autism is a tough one to explain to people whom have never heard of it, or have never had to deal with it. Very, very difficult.
What if you could use a children’s bookseries, not related to autism at all, to explain a lot of autism? I have done some thinking and send it to an autism expert, whom thought it was a great idea (he’s a fan of harry potter as well), so here goes:
What if Harry Potter could be used to explain autism?
Wait! Don’t try to cast a spell on me yet. Let me explain.
Most autistics are diagnosed late. Childrens diagnoses are only a fraction of us, whom are diagnosed later in life. I was diagnosed when I was 29, for example, some are even diagnosed now in their sixties or seventies (some even older, although rare).
A diagnose for us feels like Hagrid coming through the door and telling you, you are a wizard. Asking you if you ever made some weird things happen all by itself, without you being able to explain it. This could be autistic traits by a psychologist, and tell you: you have autism. Suddenly, all the puzzle-pieces start to click. Suddenly everything starts to fall in place. Harry even likens Hogwarts as coming home, the wizarding world is his home. This is how the autistic world feels for us, having to have lived so many years in the neurotypical world, the autistic world for us feels like home. Being able to be “normal” in a different world, where all of your traits are not seen as something weird, but seen as something completely normal.
You also get the reaction of the parents (both his dead parents and his uncle and aunt, and nephew). For most of us, it’s a reason to celebrate (as it is a part of our identity that finally falls into place), so cake is something that is in place. Some (like me) even celebrate our diagnose like a second birthday. The reactions of his wizard-birth-parents would’ve been one of joy. They have a child. They don’t mind if it’s autistic or not. it’s their child. It would’ve been a reason for joy, and as you can see, by the flashbacks in the books: Harry was greatly loved by his family. His aunt and uncle… completely different story.
His aunt and uncle are what we call autism-parents. These are the parents that claim the label autism for themselves, to make them martyrs. Look at how difficult we have it, with you in our living room. Despising harry most of his life, because of them knowing he’s a wizard (autistic). They tried to make him more “normal” by cutting his hair. Dudley, not knowing any better, bullied him together with his friends. You can see how Petunia feels about being a wizard when she recalls the story of her sister and her parents joy over it, that she is a wizard (autistic). Look in the movies how movie-petunia recalls it. You can feel the hate in her voice. Dursleys sister, the one with the dogs (forgot her name), you can see as a quack. Someone trying to cure autism. Giving up some crazy theories, without actually knowing anything about autism. You get now why Harry Potter gets so enraged.
We have covered the diagnose now.
My favorite character in the book is Snape, and by linking the character to autism, I felt a renewed connection to him.
Snape for me isthe quintessential Autie, and how he lost his friendship with Lily ( by blurting out something inappropriate, was gifted in options up to the extend that he was better than the writer of the book he was meant to study, but he still stayed loyal to Lily Potter in such a way that he lied and cheated to the world’s most powerfull wizard. His wand is the only one I possess in my own Harry Potter collection (and I am actually a proud Slytherin because of him).
Female examples? Sure. Lily Poter is one. Oh, you want more details. Look no further than Hermoine. Hermoine has no female friends and look at her determination to make the world a better place for the house-elves. How she read the entire curriculum of Hogwarts before even setting foot on its grounds and how she can recall the information with great ease.
What got me thinking about the wizarding world and the autistic world is Ron’s father. He has a fascination for muggles, but doesn’t understand them. He works in a department dedicated to them, still doesn’t know the basic functionality of a rubber duck. Look at how he goes through the metro in the movies, it even looks like a person shutting down, because of sensory stimulation.