Tag Archives: Jem

Question?: Asperger Syndrome Causes

Donald asks…

What developmental disability do you think Boo Radley’s character from To Kill a Mockingbird has?

I am doing an assessment paper on Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. I am having a difficult time determining and narrowing his disability. I am inclined to believe that he has Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS with a Co-morbid diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder but on the other hand I am swayed by the diagnosis of either Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. I would love any and all input in regards to this!

admin answers:

I would say Schizoid Personality Disorder, not Autism or Aspergers. Boo Radley purposefully isolates himself from the rest of society, and when he appears, he is silent and detached. Autism and Aspergers usually show up with some sort of obsession. With Autism, depending on the severity, communication and attention issues. I could see how you would go there because they are disorders that cause an individual to be distanced from society. Recall that toward the end of the book, Boo Radley came out and helped Scout and Jem when Ewell attacked them. Someone with autism would not do something that spontaneous unless they were conditioned to behave that way. And people with Aspergers Syndrome usually have little interest in things outside their topic of fixation.

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