An insatiable appetite for justice, superhuman senses, a lasso of truth, and a strong sense of honesty and compassion not to mention exceptional beauty– these are all traits commonly associated with the Princess of Themyscira and are coincidentally like those which describe females (and some men too) in the Asperger’s Syndrome community. She is part of the human continuum yet is different enough to attract undue attention from the neurotypical people she interacts with in her quests. While there is no way to know without asking her directly if she struggles internally with social/communication issues, sensory processing, or any number of co-morbid conditions like anxiety or depression, she exhibits many of the more positive traits that neurotypical people tend to overlook in Aspies.
People with neurological disorders are the minority in a world full of neurotypical brain functioning. The problem created then is instead of focusing on the positive traits they have and the talents and ideas they contribute to society, they are looked at by the majority as being broken with the intention of finding some way to fix them. Would Wonder Woman see broken people with no future, or would she fight to protect the vulnerable hearts and minds afflicted by the negative symptoms of ASD? My theory is that she would be able to see that there is a tremendous amount of value people with ASD offer the world. If everyone saw the world in the exact same way we would not be able to advance our technology and understanding of the world past the common viewpoint and beliefs. We wouldn’t have computers, lifesaving medicines and medical technology, engineering marvels, and amazing works of art, music, and literature. The world would be quite mediocre and dull like a school full of children wearing the same uniform and all acting similarly to the point it appeared more animatronic than human.
I can’t speak for all females with Asperger’s Syndrome, but from what I know about myself and from the research I have done it seems like Aspies pride themselves on their impeccable honesty and duty to finding the truth. I couldn’t tell a convincing lie if I wanted to, but I have found that people often value my honesty because they know I won’t tell them what they want to hear but what they need to hear. My naivety has led me to be scrupulous in finding out people’s intentions and the trustworthiness of too-good-to-be-true business’ sales pitches. My lack of social understanding and blindness to body language at first was a weakness that neurotypical people exploited for sport, but those same weaknesses taught me to be mindful and observant to minute details which might be a better advantage in the long run. I used to brood for days over articles that mentioned unjust treatment of children, animals, and people in other countries. I had an unhealthy level of anger toward anything that went against my code of honor and justice, but I am fortunate that my shy non-confident self never had the guts to act on that anger before I understood its implications. Maturity has instilled a more patient and accepting view of the world’s unfairness. I do what I can to help who I can, but I don’t let the continuous avalanche of new injustices stop me from giving up hope that my small contributions aren’t making a difference. I am no Wonder Woman, but I pride myself on knowing that I am quick to help others, stubbornly loyal to my convictions, and have a heart born to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
The way our brains process the world in ultra-high definition can be an asset like Wonder Woman’s extraordinary strength, speed, and agility. We might not be able to lift cars over our heads, but we have a keen eye for detail and seeing the patterns where others can’t. We can identify substances by smell from memory or hear noises that other people are deaf to. These heightened senses give us an advantage when we can use them in an environment that works with our skills, but those same enhancements can cause us physical pain and mental anguish if we are overwhelmed by too much of it at once or by certain triggers. Stimming is a way to alleviate the onslaught of too much sensory input, much like Wonder Woman has her gauntlets and crown to protect her from bullets. We both have our strengths and weaknesses compared to the other people or superheroes around us, but to say that Wonder Woman is weak because she doesn’t have Batman’s full body suit or Superman’s laser vision is to discredit her unfairly for not being like other superheroes. Her beauty as a woman, as a fighter for justice, and as a compassionate soul looking out for those in need makes her just like the Aspies who do the same in their own way. She might not have been written to champion for Autism awareness or because she really was an Aspie in disguise, but she will always be a role model that women can aspire to be like– even those of us with Asperger’s Syndrome who need superheroes too.