The Big Bang Theory: Does Sheldon have Asperger’s? Fans have their own theory

Sheldon Cooper is the main character in E4’s The Big Bang Theory and fans have been revisiting the series since it finished airing. Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons) is known and loved for being a genius. Viewers feel there may be more complex issues behind his personality.

Creators of the show have said Sheldon is not on the autism spectrum but Jim Parsons has mentioned how his character shows some Asperger-like characteristics.

Symptoms include finding it hard to understand and relate to others, and Sheldon does find it difficult to sympathise with other characters.

The symptoms also include difficulties with social interaction and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests.

Sheldon also has a tendency to take things literally and struggles to understand his own feelings.

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Fans have taken to Reddit to discuss other conditions Sheldon may have.

Gestaltdude said: “There is one neurological condition, totally unrelated to the autism spectrum, that I think a lot of people have missed out on – Synesthesia.

“It’s when sensory input gets confused, allowing people to, for example, hear colours and see sounds.

“Why do I think this? Season nine episode 12, The Sales Call Sublimation.”

“Raj gives Sheldon the job of going through six months worth of data to try and find something of astronomical significance, in the hope it would keep him quiet for a couple of hours.

“Sheldon immediately finds something, stating that he sees prime numbers as red, and twin prime numbers are pink and smell like gasoline.

“This is a classic case of synesthesia and probably the main reason Sheldon is good at what he does.

“He can literally see connection between phenomenon based on whether the colours match up and smell right.”

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However some fans shot the theory down, believing it was too complex to be genuine.

LorienTheFirstOne said: “They made up stuff that they thought would be funny. Any correlation to real medical conditions is coincidence”.

Others jumped on the theory, saying that had experienced similar symptoms themselves.

MyriVerse added: “Frankly, I think Sheldon has several significant mental disorders – OCD, phobias, personality disorders plus Asperger’s.”


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The National Autistic Society published a post from a woman with autism who reviewed the way the condition is portrayed on TV.

The article says writers of the show have denied Sheldon’s autism, but autistic viewers recognise patterns of his behaviour in the series.

Fellow cast member Mayim Bialik, who plays Sheldon’s love interest Amy, said in an interview the show was about people and relationships.

She said the idea was not to label characters and accepting characters despite their peculiarities.

The Big Bang Theory is available on Netflix

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