By Kim

Like a lot of Aspies I have had my fair share of obsessions. Currently it's Doctor who and Video game high school, (a show that is on Netflix). I have every Doctor Who book that has been published as well as every new season, as well as the anniversary DVDs from the classic years. I live, breathe and I'd eat Doctor who? if I was able to. One shelf of my bookcase is dedicated to Doctor who DVDs, whilst another bookcase is filled with the new series adventure books and I have found myself in a dilemma as to where my DVDs of Peter Capaldi live, as he is the new doctor. I have posters on my wall and scour the Internet for anything to do with Doctor who.

To me life without the Doctor in any way shape or form would be unbearable. I know that a lot of people who are on the autistic spectrum find themselves with a liking to the Doctor. But why?

It is a question that I have been asking myself for ages and am unable to get an answer to. The Doctor can go anywhere in space or time, can be young or old and can save anyone and defeat everyone. But why does this time-travelling "madman with a box" manage to capture the hearts of most Aspies?

As we all know, we hate a change in anything, but in Doctor who change is always in the shadows. We know that, sometime in the future, the companions will change, and we also realise that in time the actor playing the Doctor will change, but we still watch and wonder at this creation. We are glued to every episode and every prequel with baited breath, we gather as much info as we can and we wait, we wait for the glorious day that Doctor who is back on the TV.

Recently there was an article in the papers about a little autistic girl who was really worried and upset that her hero had changed . This little girl used to go on loads of adventures with the Doctor and Clara and, when she heard that the Doctor was changing, was worried that the new Doctor wouldn't like her and wouldn't want to come on adventures.

This little girl was lucky enough to be in Cardiff when she came across the filming of the new series and was even luckier to be introduced to Peter Capaldi, and Jenna Coleman where her mum explained that she was a massive fan but was worried that the new Doctor wouldn't like her or go on adventures. Instead of dismissing this little girl the producer introduced her to Peter and Jenna, who (according to the reports of her mum and other family members) took the time to talk to her, even though her autism meant that she would not talk to them.

In fact (and again I have only seen this in the video) both Jenna and Peter made sure that the little girl was as comfortable as possible. Both got down to her height and both talked to her like she was the only child in the world, they saw her a fan not a fan with autism. Having explained her problem to Peter Capaldi, he got out his phone and still talking to the little girl went through his pictures until he came to one of himself, Matt and Jenna. He then proceeds to tell this little girl that he has been given permission of Matt Smith himself to play the Doctor and that there will be change in the series, but that some change can be good. He then asks if he has the little girl's permission to play the Doctor, reassuring her that although another actor has taken Matt's place, he is still the Doctor and that she can continue on her adventures through time and space with the Doctor and Clara.

Doctor who is all about change. The Doctor changes where he goes, he changes his companions, he changes history and he changes his face, and as people on the autistic spectrum we can understand that. Change is inevitable, it happens whether we like it or not, as Aspies we change our obsessions, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes weekly and sometimes never. As we mature, our tastes change and what was once our full obsession is put on the back burner . We can have boxes and boxes full of things that we collected when we were last obsessed with something. I know that at the moment my "love" for Videogame high school is costing me some serious money, with buying items from the United States as well as having some serious shares in Amazon and the BBC shop due to all the money I spend on Doctor who.

Yes our obsessions are laughable to everyone else, but to us they are serious and very much loved. It is our comfort in a world where nothing makes sense to us, where social chat is a foreign language and the basic body language can leave us feeling left out and stuck in a Wonderland. Our obsessions save us from having to negotiate tricky problems, as no one can take them away from us. If Doctor who is not on TV, we are able to watch his adventures over and over again on DVD, read about his adventures due to the books and process information about him that no one else but a serious Whovian would care to know about.

An obsession to an autistic person is a warm cuddle in a world of difficulties and noise.

I know that if places get too loud for me I go through the Doctors in my head as a way of calming me down . It's a way of getting through the aspects of a NT life in an Aspie way. Yes, people who are NT think we are strange, but we think that they are strange: why can't they see the aspect of watching only Doctor who, trains, etc. is comforting and enjoyable? To Aspies coping with NT life, it is difficult enough and so we rely on our obsessions to get us through the day, week, whatever . Life is stressful enough as it is, so maybe, just maybe, we should show our obsessions with pride. Who knows, the next regeneration of the Doctor might be autistic!

I really would like to hear people's views on this and would more-so love to hear from other Doctor who fans. Please contact me through the editor.

 

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