Neurodiverse characters in TV By Lola Louise

August 23, 2023

Whether diagnosed or not, some characters are clearly neurodiverse. At least every show has one character that can be considered ND. For those who don’t know what the term means, it basically means that the brain processed information in a different way and includes conditions like autism and ADHD. 1 in 7 people are ND, so they’re bound to pop up on our screen. Some may say that they’re not but unless they have the right knowledge, they likely wouldn’t see it themselves. As someone neurodiverse, it is completely obvious. It stands out. The characters are usually portrayed as the outcasts, creative, quirky and different which in my experience at least one of them is accurate to someone.

Abby Sciuto – NCIS – AUDHD
A unique one for sure. The outcast. Very knowledgeable and has special interests like forensics and coding. Acts quite young for her age. She often takes things literally and reacts with a difference style of humour to compensate. Often takes time to process changes and struggles with overwhelming emotions so stims with her hippo plush, Bertie.

Scarlett O’Connor – Nashville – Autistic + PTSD
A quite shy and quirky character who gets very overwhelmed easily especially around any type of conflict. Has difficulty processing all of her emotions so usually writes about them in songs. She tends to make rash decisions without thinking of consequences which ultimately backfire on her. Masks a lot to get through situations and appear normal to others.

Maura Isles – Rizzoli & Isles – Autistic
Spoken about in a full length article. Maura is so relatable with her special interests, often takes things literally and info dumps them even when not relevant. She stores lots of information. Doesn’t understand that some things she says, don’t come off as planned. She gets overwhelmed very easily and doesn’t process intense emotions well.

Penelope Garcia – Criminal Minds – AUDHD
She’s very quirky with a bold personality. She carries around comfort items around with her to every environment to feel comfortable. She really hates change and has been vocal about it. She often says inappropriate things at the wrong times which can land her in trouble. Her special interests are unicorns, London and Doctor Who.

Spencer Reid – Criminal Minds – Autistic
Originally meant to be written as autistic but apparently the network backed out. He is a ball of knowledge, stores information probably better than a computer. Tends to info dump on others. Not the best at portraying his emotions and saying what he feels. Not confirmed directly on the show but there have been teases and even the actor and writers have insinuated.

Fox Mulder – The X Files – AUDHD
A character who often can’t sit still and has a presentation at the ready. Had strong special interests and will do what he can to make others believe them. He hyper fixates. Sees small details others don’t. He’s not the best in social situations and struggles with his emotions. Doesn’t fit in and tends to stim and fidget a lot. Doesn’t show a lot of facial expressions.

Elsbeth Tascioni – The Good Wife/Fight & Elsbeth – AUDHD
She’s the most quirky and yet the most easily distracted character. Put a cute animal in front of her and she’ll completely forget what she was doing. Those are probably her special interest. She often says irrelevant things usually mid conversation, mostly about fashion. She takes up hobbies and then often leaves them.

Cat Valentine – Victorious & Sam & Cat – ADHD
For those who have watched these shows, this will absolutely not come as a surprise. She often stims and carried around plushies to comfort herself. She has a bizarre pattern of thinking. She gets very attached to things, ie TV shows and gets obsessed with things very easily aka bibble. She takes things literally at times and often masks when uncomfortable around others.

Leave A Comment

Your voice matters. Conversations are moderated for civility. Read our guidelines here.


Leave a Reply


Radio Player App

Download the SupaJam radio app so you can access SupaJam Radio on your phone!

Support Supajam!