How to Craft Authentic Autistic Characters in Fantasy Worlds?

If you’re planning to write a fantasy story with an autistic character, this guide can help you portray them accurately without resorting to offensive stereotypes.

Understanding Autism

Autism, also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a broad range of behaviors and experiences. It affects several aspects of functioning, including socialization, communication, and sensory sensitivities. Autism is not a condition that someone has, but a part of their identity, much like their nationality or the color of their eyes.

fountain pen

Creating an Autistic Character

When designing an autistic character, start with the basics. Consider their past, their personality, their goals, and their hobbies among other characteristic traits. Then, think about how to incorporate autism aspects into their character.

    • Communication: Autistic people might find it hard to understand figures of speech, sarcasm, and nonverbal cues. They may also struggle with eye contact and small talk. Some may speak in a monotone voice, while others could go nonverbal when overwhelmed.
    • Special Interests: Autistic people often have intense interests in certain topics. These interests can significantly impact their lifestyle and bring them joy and comfort.
    • Stimming: Autistic people often display repetitive behaviors, known as stims, for self-regulation or communication. Examples include hand flapping, humming, or rocking back and forth.
    • Routine: Routines comfort autistic individuals, and sudden changes can lead to distress.
    • Masking: Some Autistic individuals may mimic behavioral patterns around them to blend with others, a tactic known as masking.

Handling Meltdown

Meltdowns occur when an autistic person becomes overwhelmed. The individual might display various signs, and it can manifest differently depending on the person. After the meltdown, recovery can take hours or even days depending on the severity.


Nonspeaking Autistic Characters

If your character is nonverbal, they should be given equal agency as verbal characters. Communication can be shown in numerous ways, such as through writing, body language, or the use of technology.

Incorporating Multiple Identities

Remember that your character may have multiple overlapping identities. An autistic character can be of any race, gender, or sexuality. For a more realistic portrayal, consider all aspects of the character’s identity in your writing.

writing work station


Writing an autistic character requires thorough research and understanding. However, learning and exploring autistic behaviors and experiences can lead to the creation of rich and authentic characters in your fantasy story.

Related articles

Leave a Comment