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Dr. Spencer Reid of "Criminal Minds"

Submit an Entry: Diagnose a TV Character With an Autism Spectrum Disorder

By ymclain

Name of Character

Dr. Spencer Reid - Matthew Gray Gubler about his character, "He's an eccentric genius, with hints of schizophrenia and minor autism, Asperger's Syndrome. Reid is 24, 25 years old with three PH.D.'s and one can't usually achieve that without some form of autism."

Name of Show

Criminal Minds (CBS)

Why Do You Think This Character Is on the Spectrum?

Highly functional, most likely received great direction and support from mother, though abandoned by father.

Is This a Good Portrayal of Autism or Asperger's?

Yes. Reid is seen to have a close and evolving relationship with his co-workers as the character develops, confiding in the group about his mother and father. No evidence of life outside of work, but creative and successful contributions to society and country.

What I'd Do Differently

  • I find the character development thorough, not condescending or overstated. Character is seen as an important part of a team and his limitations dealt with in realistic terms.

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