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SpongeBob SquarePants and Henry the Penguin

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

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Name of Character

SpongeBob SquarePants and Henry the Penguin

Name of Show

SpongeBob SquarePants and Oswald

Why Do You Think This Character Is on the Spectrum?

SpongeBob: concrete/literal thinking, poor social skills, inability to read non-verbal cues, can't detect sarcasm, strict adherence to the rules, and obsessive interest in Jellyfish resulting an encyclopedic knowledge of same. Henry: strict adherence to routine, doesn't grasp idioms or humor, poor transitioning skills..but what sealed it for me was the episode where the Oswald gang is fishing and they hook a treasure chest. Everyone is gasping with excitement because they haven't caught anything all day and Henry says, "It's not a fish, though." I nearly fell out of my chair! LOL

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

I'm an Aspie and I think both shows handle the character's differences wonderfully. Both Henry and SpongeBob live independently, have friends, jobs, and social lives. It's just a little bit different than they way NT characters would have those things.

What I'd Do Differently

  • For SpongeBob, I wouldn't change a thing. I think it's pretty accurate, and, of course the show's writers aren't trying to portray an Aspie per se. Now that I think of it, the same goes for Oswald.
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