This week’s lessons on Geek Anthropology is a little bit unusual. We’re going to explore Castiel, the Autistic Angel. Autism is a reality to many families, including mine. If you’ve read this blog, you might have found that from time to time I write about my Vulcan, my Mr.Spock. I like to use Spock for him since it’s one of his favorite characters, but I should be using other characters like Mr. Data or Castiel. And you might say, Castiel? Autistic? Yes. Castiel is an aloof and curious angel who saves Dean from perdition. He acts in an awkward way most of the time. However, he is getting “better” under neurotypical standards (the Winchesters, for example, are pretty neurotypical) when interacting with humans. As he learns new patterns, he also learns how to navigate Earth. However, his cuteness and funny quotes can be explained under the Autism spectrum.
Characters that we can find in fandom can help us understand better people around us that might be special or who might have a different neurological wiring. Even if writers didn’t intend to make of Castiel an autistic character, he does show up a bunch of traits. Remember that autism is a vast spectrum where we can find Aspergers and high functioning autistic people (docs have changed the names recently, but I keep on the ones I know more). Not all aspies nor autistic people are the same, but common traits make them special.
1. His face doesn’t convey emotions.
For the most part, Castiel’s face is emotionless. Not in a bad way, but in a sweet one. He seems aloof most of the time unable to show up any emotion on his face. This drives Dean crazy, every time he tries to get some feedback from Castiel. Nods and facial gestures are hard for this angel, and when he does them, they feel awkward most of the time. As time passes, he learns little by little about some gestures, but he has an emotionless face that no other angel has. No wonder the Winchesters have adopted him, since he seems lost, despite having great powers. My Vulcan has problems in showing up emotions on his face as well. He, like Castiel, looks like a blank canvas with big eyes looking back at you most of the time. Pretty much like the gif up there. He is dang cute, but it can get on your nerves when he is on Castiel mode on.