Neurodiversity Is Supernatural YKTTW Discussion

Neurodiversity Is Supernatural
People with atypical neurological conditions are that way because of supernatural forces.
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-15 00:33:23 sponsor: nogard8910 (last reply: 2011-11-22 17:59:02)

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Whenever real world atypical neurological conditions are presented as the result of something supernatural. Strange conditions spark the imaginations of writers, leading them to imagine otherworldly forces behind them. Just as Most Writers Are Male, so are most writers neurotypical, and this trope sometimes extends to the point of Unfortunate Implications.

Can overlap with The Soulless in regard to sociopathy. See also Mad Oracle.


  • In Harry Potter, the Dementors are evil creatures connected with depression, and it's implied that they cause it in Muggles, who don't see magical things and attribute it to scientific causes.
  • In the Percy Jackson series, demigodhood causes dyslexia and ADHD.
  • In A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane, Darryl becomes autistic after going on a magical quest to become a wizard.

Live-Action TV
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel generally portray soullessness as being sociopathy to the extent that an early Angel episode implies normal human sociopaths are people born without souls.
  • In Doctor Who, there appears to be a link between Vincent Van Gogh's madness/depression, and his ability to see invisible aliens. Which one causes which is somewhat unclear, though.
  • In an episode of Eli Stone, the strange actions of an autistic child are a way God communicates with Eli.
  • In Eureka, Kevin's autism is the result of a mysterious supernatural force never quite explained.
  • Heroes presents synesthesia as a superpower. Though the power is later shown to be more of an ability to manipulate sound, its introduction has it as simply sound-to-color synesthesia.
  • The sixth season of Supernatural had Sam missing his soul, which was treated as sociopathy.
  • In The X-Files episode "Fallen Angel", it's implied that aliens are responsible for Max's epilepsy.

Tabletop Games
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: If a human child fails to become a wereraven (because their magical spirit egg was stolen before their first transformation) they tend to become autistic suddenly (despite autism spectrum disorders being congenital in real life).

Real Life
  • Some people involved with the New Age belief system believe children with autism, ADHD, and other disorders are indigo children, children with indigo auras sent to heal the world. This is a purely faith-based belief without scientific evidence to support it.
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