I saved this one for now, because I felt that this one (although Snape is my favourite character) Neville is special in the series. You see him grow. You see him flourish. Neville is a special wizard in the whole series.
His parents were the victims of Barty Crouch Junior, Bellatrix Lestrange and other deatheaters, and although he never dealt with Barty Crouch Junior himself (except in the guise of Mad-Eye), he is still a direct victim. Thanks to Barty Crouch, Neville never had his parents. Never felt motherly love, although he has his grandmother. He showed faint signs after birth, which were not picked up by his grandmother, whom became more and more concerned he might be a squib.
Neville is special in my autism analogy series, because he starts out what many would call “low-functioning”. In the wizard world people without any wizard abilities are called squibs. Filch is a squib, as is Arabella Figg, Harry’s babysitter (unknown to be a witch by the Dursleys).
Neville himself believes that he is a squib. He doubts everything in himself. You read it into the series and his bumbling and stumbling is played of as a joke. Many of us autistics can relate to his character. We were him during puberty. Stumbling, not so good in social relationships, but we stood up for our friends, even when we had to go against them.
This is why Neville is rewarded 50 points at the end of his first year in Hogwarts.
His problem with executive functioning is the source of why Harry potter is chosen for the quidditch team. Without Neville’s remembral, Harry wouldn’t be on the quidditch team.
His grandmother looked out for him during the series, and his fear of Snape is also prevelant, although Neville is fond of Madame Sprout, whom as one of the first (except Dumbledore) sees an exceptional young man, instead of what others perceive him to be.
We really see him blossom when he gets him own wand in the fifth book (also we get to learn more of his past when we meet his parents in the asylum).
How wizards deal with squibs is the same as Autism Warrior Parents deal with autistics. They want to eradicate their autism. Filch is ridiculed for being a squib, when pupils of hogwarts find out and he even starts a correspondance course in magic, so he can teach himself magic.
Although Mrs. Figg is also a squib, she is never ridiculed, although thought of as strange by wizards.
Neville on the other hand, although first thought of (and also by himself) as being a squib, he later flourishes and leads Dumbledore’s army into the battles at Hogwarts.
I want to show you with this character and my analysis of him compared to autism, that although we might develop more slowly in some things, we do develop. Autism doesn’t mean that we can’t learn, it means that we might learn more slowly. It means that we have difficulty with certain things, not that we can’t do them. Most of the autistics I know are diagnosed late, even my own nephew was diagnosed when he was 7-8, which is late in most cases. I was diagnosed at 29, which in my eyes is common, because most of us are very, very good at masking.