Tag Archives: To Kill A Mockingbird

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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to lay the barricades aside


And it seems so hard
To keep it all together
When the walls are fallin’ down
On every side
Yeah but I’ll be damned
If I’ll give up on it easy
I’ve worked too hard
To lay the barricades aside

~ Pat Green

Taunting Boo Radley became passe.

~ To Kill a Mockingbird


If by any chance you missed the story yesterday in which Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe jumped to the terribly reckless and dangerous and damaging (not to mention downright ignorant) conclusion that James Holmes, the man responsible for the deadliest mass murder in recent history, must be ‘on the autism scale’, I’d encourage you to read this post and the links within it.

This community has fought for years against fear as a response to difference. We have worked – and continue to work every day – to lift the veil of misunderstanding so that society will get to know the people behind the labels and the attendant disastrous misconceptions that so often accompany them. Reckless speculation like Mr Scarborough’s set those efforts back immeasurably.

Personally, I refuse to give up the ground that we’ve gained. We’ve worked too hard to get where we are and by God, we’re still nowhere near where we need to be.

Please, read and share yesterday’s post. Sign the petition. Tweet the following –

Please READ and SHARE – #Autism is not dangerous but words can be – http://wp.me/pNO8N-2Z4 @joenbc @Morning_Joe #ColoradoTragedy @diaryofamom

Above all, TALK to the people that you know. Tell them that speculation like this is as ignorant as it is damaging. That careless words hurt real people. That they affect perception. That they validate fear. That they fortify the walls that we’ve been working so hard to tear down.

That they hurt our children.

That they hurt autistic adults.

That they hurt us all.

Please, join the conversation. Tell your story. Online, at church, at school, at the supermarket. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your friends. Talk to your families. Please, help us fight this kind of ignorance. We can’t go back to where we started.



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