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Is Boo Radley Autistic?

Jan 11, 2024 @ 5:10 EST
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Is Boo Radley Autistic?

Many people believe Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird is an autistic character as he spends much of his days cutting things out of paper. His behavior has even earned him the title of boogieman to the local kids. However, the book has not clarified if he really has autism.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American coming-of-age legal drama crime film based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It received extremely positive reviews from both critics and the general public, and it was a box-office hit, earning more than six times its budget. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won three of them, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck.

If you're not aware, there is a shy, mysterious character named Boo Radley who is believed to be a monster throughout the film. He’s also known to be mentally ill and violent due to many stories about his past. So, is Boo Radley autistic? Let's discover the truth.

Previously, we discussed the stories of Max Burkholder and Liz Cheney.

Boo Radley Is Reported to Be Autistic!

While To Kill a Mockingbird was written before autism was recognized as a diagnosis, autistic people have existed for much longer. Because Harper Lee built the book's characters on people she knew when she was younger, it's very plausible that Boo Radley's inspiration was autistic.

Boo Radley is said to be autistic. netflixdeed.comBoo Radley is said to be autistic.
Image Source: Fandom

As we know, Boo Radley is a hermit who spends much of his days cutting things out of paper, and his behavior has earned him the title of boogieman to the local kids. He ultimately saves their lives by killing Bob Ewell, who was attempting to murder the children.  In addition to autism, his behavior is consistent with schizoid personality disorder.

Schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) is a mental illness characterized by a constant pattern of alienation from and disinterest in social connections. People with such disorders have a limited range of emotions when interacting with others. It is one of several Cluster A personality disorders that entail unique or eccentric thinking or behavior.

Throughout the film, Boo Radley is a mystery character. The youngsters are afraid of him, spread rumors about him, and try to break into his house, so when Atticus says this to Scout, it's him urgently trying to convince Scout that he is not a monster. Scout, of course, is unaware of this at the moment.

But, as we see near the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, the author portrays Boo Radley as a fearful child who just didn't have the resources to learn how to live normally in a culture that doesn't accept diversity or change. Scout comes to comprehend not only the pain in his life but also the causes that lead to his behavior.

Scout and Boo Radley's brief meeting also reinforces Atticus' statements to Scout near the end of the novel, when he informs her that most people are good when you eventually see them. But in the end, you discover that he has an indirect relationship with them, which enables him to intervene on their behalf and save Jem and Scout's lives when they are most in need.

What Exactly Is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Take a Look!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an intellectual disability caused by abnormalities in the brain. ASD patients may have a recognized difference, such as a genetic disease. Other causes are unknown. Scientists believe that many factors of ASD interact to alter the most frequent ways people develop. We still have a lot to learn about these reasons and how they affect persons with autism spectrum disorder.

ASD is a disorder of development caused by variations in the brain. netflixdeed.comASD is a disorder of development caused by variations in the brain.
Image Source: CNN

People with ASD may behave, talk, interact, and learn differently than most other people. There is often nothing about their appearance that distinguishes them from others. People with ASD have a wide range of abilities. Some persons with ASD, for example, may have outstanding speech skills, whilst others may be nonverbal. Some persons with ASD require a lot of assistance in their everyday lives, while others can work and live with little to no assistance.

ASD appears before the age of three and can remain for the rest of a person's life, however, symptoms may improve over time. Some children exhibit ASD symptoms within the first year of life. In others, symptoms may not appear until the child is 24 months old or later. Some children with ASD learn new skills and reach developmental goals until they are 18 to 24 months old, at which point they cease learning new skills or lose those they already have.

As children with ASD grow into adolescents and young adults, they may struggle to form and keep friendships, communicate with peers and adults, and grasp what behaviors are required at school or on the job. They may be brought to the attention of healthcare practitioners if they also have conditions like anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which are more common in persons with ASD than in people without ASD.

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