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Thread: Autistic Wizards

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    Autistic Wizards

    I've been wondering for some time now if it was possible that wizarding children may be born with autism. There is no known cause of the disorder, and it pertains to the development of the brain (theoritically, of course). Some thoughts about this please?

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    I see no reason why that couldn't happen. Autism (and probably loads of other mental disabilities) should exist in wizards as well as Muggles. But maybe wizards the ability to control it more than Muggles...perhaps there's a special potion that eases the symptoms. I don't think they'd have a special cure for autism, at least, as it's more of a congenital disease rather than environmental.

    They would probably attend a different school, though, or have restraints on their magic. Or, if they attended Hogwarts, I bet they would have a special caretaker. They might be treated like Squibs--outcasted from the Wizarding world. That's really sad.

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    I would imagine that autistic wizards would be homeschooled by a tutor. The tutor would be able to adjust the lessons to fit the student's needs. A tutor might be a good option if the autistic student would have a difficult time living away from home/adjusting to a boarding school lifestyle.

    Interesting question!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucca4
    I see no reason why that couldn't happen. Autism (and probably loads of other mental disabilities) should exist in wizards as well as Muggles.
    I thought that, too, but the main problem is that in wizards, they have magic in them. It would surely affect wizards differently than Muggles because they're different. This is frustrating..

    But maybe wizards the ability to control it more than Muggles...perhaps there's a special potion that eases the symptoms. I don't think they'd have a special cure for autism, at least, as it's more of a congenital disease rather than environmental.
    Yes, they may control it more or worse compared to Muggles. I'm not sure about special potions. Autism is a disorder of the brain; would there be any ingredients that wizards are aware of that could ease the symptoms? Most of the ingredients of wizard potions are herbal, but they do put parts of creatures (ie. dragon's claws, etc). I wonder if there are other properties of dragon's blood... Autism is almost like a neuro disorder. I don't know any herbs or plants that could somehow fix the brain malfunction, but maybe body parts of magical creatures have..

    They would probably attend a different school, though, or have restraints on their magic. Or, if they attended Hogwarts, I bet they would have a special caretaker. They might be treated like Squibs--outcasted from the Wizarding world.
    Quote Originally Posted by expelliarmus17
    I would imagine that autistic wizards would be homeschooled by a tutor. The tutor would be able to adjust the lessons to fit the student's needs. A tutor might be a good option if the autistic student would have a difficult time living away from home/adjusting to a boarding school lifestyle.
    Yes, that reminds me of Ariana Dumbledore. That brings us back to my first point; Autism could have a different effect on wizarding children compared to Muggles. I don't think they'd be able to attend Hogwarts. In the Muggle world, autistic children learn in an institution where they'd be given one-on-one education or the parents would hire private therapists (Note: In the USA, the government pays/shares the fees of therapuetic fees, depending on the income of the parents). Each child has a different evaluation, so their standing point is different. Yes, I do imagine they'd be outcasts like Squibs.

    Homeschool? Maybe.. How about an institution? Though because Kendra Dumbledore feared Ariana's permanent stay in St. Mungo's, the only option would have been St. Mungo's. Yes, an autistic child needs lots of support from family so I'd say the child would have to be near home.

    Okay, so we've established (kind of) that autism could happen to wizarding children. Next question is: what are it's effects (to a wizard child)?

    Thanks for the compliments (:

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    ooohhh, Dinny, I like your new avatar....

    Anyway,....
    I would wonder if, since it has no known cause, you could say that in Muggles, it's caused by a lack of exposure to magic or something like that. Just something in such a way that would prevent wizards from being suseptible to it.

    But if you didn't want to do that... I would say, yes, they would be homeschooled by a tutor. I imagine that the effects would be quite similar to what Muggles experience.
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    There are a couple of stories on the site that actually deal with the subject of autism. I would definitely recommend them.


    Torn by dumbledorefluertwins
    Summary: A dark fic about families torn apart. Daisy Potter is thirteen years old and is already burdened with the responsibilty of her autistic sister and ill mother. Will she ever be able to go to Hogwarts?

    Praise for the Sun, the Bringer of Day by Hansolohpfrk
    Summary: Hannah Abbott grew up much faster than most will ever know. At the tender age of seventeen, she is the only one there for her autistic brother. She has to be strong enough for both of them.

    Revival of Autumn by AstroFire
    Summary: The war is long over, and Harry is now reflecting on what his life is. But is it really what he thought it would be?

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    Molly, those were beautiful stories! Thank you so much for recommending them! (haha, yeah.. I finished them all XD)

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    originally posted by expelliarmus17
    I would imagine that autistic wizards would be homeschooled by a tutor. The tutor would be able to adjust the lessons to fit the student's needs. A tutor might be a good option if the autistic student would have a difficult time living away from home/adjusting to a boarding school lifestyle.
    I just wanted to quickly point out that the autistic wizard wouldn't necessarily have to be homeschooled by a tutor. I know somebody who specifically chose to homeschool her son because he was autistic. By the very nature of homeschooling, practically every child who is homeschooled has lessons tailored to his or her personal needs, preferences, and abilities by the child's parents, not just ones with autism.

    Also, unlike other posters, I think it might be possible for a child with autism to attend Hogwarts. I knew a boy with Asperger's syndrome, which is on the very mild side of the scale of autism, and he managed to do almost everything in high school that every other child did without any extra help. Test-taking was adjusted slightly for him, but that was about it. Therefore, I think it might be possible for a child with autism to attend Hogwarts. It would be on a case by case basis, of course. For somebody with mild autism, a few minor modifications to their day and teacher awareness might make attending Hogwarts possible.

    originally posted by Evora
    Homeschool? Maybe.. How about an institution? Though because Kendra Dumbledore feared Ariana's permanent stay in St. Mungo's, the only option would have been St. Mungo's. Yes, an autistic child needs lots of support from family so I'd say the child would have to be near home.
    I guess it depends on when the child with autism was alive. In Kendra Dumbledore's day, St. Mungo's might be the only option, but that was in the 1800's. By the time the Next-Gen kids were born, attitudes towards autism may have shifted just as in the wizarding world as in the Muggle world.

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    Very few children in the UK with autism are home schooled. If their parents are wealthy enough then they probably would be, but as help generally comes from local government, then it is up to the whim of the Education Authority. There are special schools for autistic children, as well as schools with a special unit attached, but more often that not a child with autism or aspergers will be educated in a mainstream school.

    This sounds horrible, but it would probably be far easier for an autistic child to be controlled at Hogwarts. They're not averse to using fairly draconian punishments for minor misdemeaners. I would imagine they'd be up for giving a child a potion to calm him/her down. , saying it's to stop them hurting themselves or someone else.

    Ariana Dumbledore's time is very different. In those days children like that were locked away, so being holed up in St Mungo's isn't that far off the truth.

    But in our more 'enlightened' times, they wouldn't lock them away. All but the very severe cases could be handled, I think, quite progressively.

    Effects to a wizard child?
    Ariana couldn't control her magic. She couldn't be calmed easily and when angry her magic would flash out of her. She killed her mother albeit by accident. I think magic would heighten the sudden uncontrolled rages that certain autistic children feel.
    But there are other forms, some equally severe, but not as noticeable. The child who is obsessed with something (I assist in a class with an autistic child who is obsessed with numbers and scorpions), who cannot focus on anything around him because he can only hold one bit of information in his head. Perhaps that child could be obsessed with Arithmancy or certain spell work.
    There's also very poor social interraction, so a child who says the wrong thing, who pulls other children across the floor, or joins in a game at the wrong moment, or hugs people at the wrong time. All these things could apply to a magic child.
    There is also the 'Rain Man' savant type who would be a genius at one thing. Musician, mathematician, artist - anything that they rivet on. They are very rare in our world though, so could be even rarer in the wizarding world (unless the savants in the Muggle world are all wizards/witches and this is their way of controlling their magic.)

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  10. #10
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    I actually worked as a nanny for a little girl with severe autism, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what 'Amy' would be like if she had magical powers (not a pretty picture).

    I think of autistic children as being a great deal like Ariana Dumbledore, as people have said above. They would be great victims of accidental magic, and seeing as they can be greatly prone to violent temper tantrums, I imagine violent incidents of accident magic as being nearly everyday occurances. I also have a feeling they would be a lot worse than any child without autism would have.

    But in a lot of other ways, a child with autism would be a great deal different than Ariana's case was. Ariana never used magic out of fear of what happened when she was attacked by those Muggle boy, but a child with autism would have absolutely no qualms about using their powers, reguardless of their awareness of these abilities or even that they were the ones behind everything that happened when these incidents of accidental magic occur.

    I also feel that the disorder itself would offer a lot of problems to learning magic itself. You know how one major indicator of autism is that the children tend to play with the parts of a toy, like the wheels on the car or the braids on a doll, rather than the toy as a whole. I feel like this would be a great obsticle in learning magic. Children might be so obsessed by details of the wand, such as the detail in the handle or the grains in the wood, that it might not even occur to them that they could use it to perform magic.

    Also, autistic children tend to be obsessed with routine and organizing things. I can see all kinds of problems occuring in Potions. A student being so obsessed with one ingredient that they forget about the Potion as a whole.

    On that same note, though, they would probably also have the most precise measurments and cuts of any student in the class. I would even call it a Snape-worthy obsession, but this ability would probably only take them so far in winning praise for the class.

    Many kids with autism are also non-verbal, like 'Amy', so they would never be able to get through their first five years of wandwork when they can't even say the spells out loud.

    Also, depending on just how severe their autism is, the students may or may not even be allowed to attend Hogwarts. Think about it; Hogwarts really isn't the most 'enlightened' educational institute in the world. Remus Lupin seems to the only werewolf to ever attend school there, and that was after Dumbledore had to jump through hoops of fire to make it happen. If a child who is just like any other except for one night on the full moon, I don't imagine a child who can't talk or constantly throws tantrums and even attacks other students would stand much more of a chance.

    Something I might see happening, though, is that autistic children might be accepted into Hogwarts just like any other child, but once they got there, they would receive any sort of special treatment, no more than any other first-year. Any tantrums or attacks on other students wouldn't be seen as 'part of their disorder', but eventually it might be determined that either the violent outbursts made them a threat to the student body, or their odd behavior was disruptive and wasn't fair to the students who were 'trying to learn', and they would be expelled.

    I know, it's a horrible thing to think about this magical place that we have all come to love over the years, but Hogwarts has never been a very progressive school by tradition, and I don't see anyone there taking a great deal of steps out of the way to accomidate a special needs child.

    That being said, I have also met a great many high-functioning autistics who could probably make it all the way through their education at Hogwarts, and prehapes even become quite successful in a career that would fit to their talents. They would certainly have their own difficulties in school, just like any child would, but it would certainly be possible.

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