A few years back, I did an article on here about my discovery of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As I have continued to watch this show, I have noticed something great–Twilight Sparkle seems to have autistic traits! I really have to applaud the writers for this bold move. Let’s look at some of them.
1. Her OCD. What I really like is that the writers have shown that OCD can be a positive as well as a negative, as “Winter Wrap-up” suggests. In “Lesson Zero”, we see that Twilight maps out her entire day (in “Spike at Your Service”, we learn it’s rubbed off on him as well). This is also shown in “It’s About Time”.
2. She’s socially awkward. In the 2-part pilot, we see that she’d rather read than hang out. She doesn’t even consider pursuing friendships. She’s not like Fluttershy, who’s initially not even brave enough to speak clearly, she’s just not interested. Princess Celestia uses this in her plan to free her sister, Princess Luna, from her evil form, Nightmare Moon. This is an excellent plan, because if Twilight actually knew the whole pan, her attempts would seem forced rather than genuine. Thus, the story teaches the moral that friendship cannot be forced. As she continues to socialize with her newfound friends, we still see signs of her awkwardness in episodes like “The Best Night Ever” and “Sweet and Elite”.
3. She has terrible meltdowns. Twilight is prone to freak outs if her organization goes awry and causes her to forget something important or things don’t go as she planned. This becomes a major obstacle in “Lesson Zero”, when she realizes that she hasn’t turned in a letter to Princess Celestia and decides to create a problem because no one seems to have one for her to be solved. In “It’s About Time”, she receives a message from her future self, but it’s cut off and she freaks out. When she realizes her folly, she sends herself back in time, creating a time loop. (It’s one of the funniest endings in the show.) Thankfully, Princess Cadance taught her how to do cooldown breaths in “Games Ponies Play.”
4. She has obsessive behavior. She’s an avid bookworm and is obsessed with her two heroes, Starswirl the Bearded and Daring Do. She even dresses up like Starswirl in “Luna Eclipsed” and “Three’s a Crowd”. (And I just love that costume!) In “Daring Don’t”, she discovers that Daring Do is really the writer herself, and she and Rainbow Dash (who is equally obsessed with the character) geek out about the books, sounding just like arguments I’ve seen my fellow geeks get into. I think this is a great way to show that even non-aspies can have geek out moments.
I applaud the writers for creating this character. It’s a small step in showing children that they should reach out to those who are different from them and befriend them.