May 5, 2023

For those who don’t know, Rizzoli & Isles is a crime drama set in Boston, based on the books by Tess Gerritson. It follows Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner, Doctor Maura Isles of Boston’s Police Department. Their friendship works together so well, that most actually wanted them to be a couple. We ship “Rizzles.”

When watching for the first time, one thing that was noticed as an autistic female, was that Maura Isles, is undeniably an autistic character. It became so recognisable that even actress, Sasha Alexander asked the creator “Is she autistic?” She never actually got a yes or no answer but I can safely answer and say, yes she is.

Maura is the perfect representation that completely denies stereotypes, it may be because the character is based on a real person but I get absolutely flawed watching. I had only been diagnosed a year when I started watching properly. It made me feel in awe seeing someone like her on my screen. She was successful, quirky, loved and totally accepted by those around her, despite, all her special interests and love for them.

There’s huge misconceptions when it comes to autism, people seem to think that autistics can’t succeed because of the diagnosis or that that we can’t even handle working. The truth is, when given the chance and the right accommodation to suit our needs, we can succeed. It helps when you do a job you love and is your passion.

Here’s some reasons that helped me come to the conclusion of her being autistic and completely relatable:

She is very open about her special interests which are science, history, art and fashion. She tends to talk about them a lot, even when those around her aren’t interested. She unintentionally forces them onto others around her (so relatable) we really don’t mean it. We just tend to talk about what we know. She often shares lots of facts she’s came across along the way, hoping that others will be interested. On the opposite end of this, sharing her interests shows how smart and intellectual she actually is to remember so much information.

She diagnosed people using her medical knowledge in the most awkward settings, she just couldn’t help herself and didn’t know not to do that. She doesn’t know the impact of some of the things said and that they can have consequences. Surprisingly, what we think in our heads, can sometimes not have the same impact as when they come out of our mouth. We may think something we were thinking was fine and appropriate, only to realise it is far from that.

In settings she finds uncomfortable, she tends to fidget a lot and holds her arms close to her, it’s like for protection and a calming technique. She doesn’t tend to use a lot of gestures which is a common thing for autistics. Although, in settings we find comfortable, it’s easier to be ourselves.

One thing I love about this show though, is the fact, despite her friends and those around her not showing interest in her interests, they love and support her all the way, they always make her feel comfortable and have never made her feel bad about who she is. They’ve let her embrace her true self without any judgement. They’ve never not accepted her. They appreciate her and show gratitude for the things she does.

This is a thing society needs to take notes on. Just because someone acts different and doesn’t conform to the norm, it doesn’t mean they need excluding from the world. All we need is someone to appreciate us and not try to change us.

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  1. David C

    Amen to this. Brilliantly written article

  2. Nats

    She’s amazing in I have never thought she was autistic she is very intelligent and a very good actress


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