Does Newt Scamander Have Autism?
It's unknown if Newt Scamander definitely has autism, but several signs show that he does.
Rumors have spread that Newt Scamander, the famed fictional writer in Fantastic Beasts, is autistic. Some of these have been accepted within the autism community for two distinct reasons.
The first reason relates to the personality of Newt in the film. He seems sharp and edgy, but very concerned by the fine details of matters.
He sometimes wanders around on his own, seemingly not putting much thought into the outcome of his words and actions. How he's played by Eddie Redmayne seems awkward, especially when he's around different people.
In some scenes where he's alone or there isn't a crown around, his personality appears to calm in a relaxed manner.
Not all are in favor of the autism theory. The film itself takes place in the 1800s at a time when such things as autism weren't known in the psychology and medical world.
In the last two decades, researchers have with increasingly better results been able to detect autism in people they once counted out, particularly those with mild symptoms.
People on the spectrum show difficulty understanding the emotions of others around them. For most of the film, Newt doesn't seem to have issues with this, being able to make out complex obstacles during scenes that others can't. This is best shown in the underground tunnel scene.
Then again, he doesn't appear to have problems gazing at others, a very common characteristic for anyone with ASD.
He seems introverted at times, something that both autistic and non-autistic people could be. He does show social anxiety, especially during the first half of the film, but opens up as it progresses.
Not everyone with autism has a problem with emotion. Intuitiveness and compassion are common, more so for people with mild symptoms.
That the autistic are incapable of empathy is a stigmatization, rather than a reality.The second reason which may indicate that autism is present comes from none other than the actor portraying him.
Eddie Redmayne said that he believes the character has autism during an interview. One important note is that such speculation has been ongoing since the first film aired in 2016. During the initial phase of the argument, Asperger's was frequently used in place of autism.
Since that time, it has been discounted as a symptom of autism rather than its distinct disorder. The writer of the Fantastic Beasts series, J.K. Rowling has never publicly stated that Newt has autism or was written to be autistic.