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Is Sheldon Autistic? Response of Mayim Bialik

‘Is Sheldon Autistic’ Amy is an 18-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome who has just started college. She is played by actress Hailee Steinfeld.

“We don’t pathologize our characters. We don’t talk about medicating them or even really changing them” says Steinfeld of the show’s approach to its central character. “What we wanted to do was tell a story about somebody living with this condition and how she goes about her day-to-day life.”

The show has been praised for its sensitive and realistic portrayal of Amy’s experiences. It provides valuable insight into the challenges faced by young people with Asperger’s syndrome, as well as the strength and resilience they possess.

“Mayim Bialik Addresses the Question: Is Sheldon Cooper Autistic?”

When asked whether she thought Sheldon was autistic, Mayim Bialik didn’t hesitate in her response.

“I do not think Is Sheldon Autistic,” she said. “I think he has Asperger’s Syndrome.”

She went on to explain that, in her opinion, the main differences between the two conditions are that people with Asperger’s tend to be higher functioning than those with autism and that they don’t usually have delays in cognitive development or language acquisition.

Interestingly, she also said that she believes there is a lot of overlap between the two conditions – which may explain why some people are unsure which one Sheldon Cooper actually has.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: Bialik’s in-depth knowledge of the subject means she is more than qualified to have an opinion on it. And we’re certainly glad she shared it with us!

Complete Biography of Sheldon Lee Cooper

Sheldon Lee Cooper
The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon character
Jim Parsons as adult Sheldon Cooper (left) and Iain Armitage as young Sheldon Cooper (right)
First appearance
  • The Big Bang Theory:
  • “Pilot” (2007)
  • Young Sheldon:
  • “Pilot” (2017)
Last appearance
  • The Big Bang Theory:
  • “The Stockholm Syndrome” (2019)
Created by Chuck Lorre


Portrayed by Jim Parsons

(The Big Bang Theory)

Iain Armitage

(Young Sheldon)

Voiced by Jim Parsons

(Narration; Young Sheldon)

In-universe information
Full name Sheldon Lee Cooper
Nicknames Shelly (family)

Shelly Bean (when Sheldon was acting as his mother)

Moon Pie (from grandmother)

Sheldor The Conqueror (online gamertag)

Gender Male
Title Doctor
  • The Big Bang Theory:
  • Theoretical physicist
  • Young Sheldon:
  • Student
Family Mary Cooper (mother)

George Cooper Sr. (father, deceased as of Big Bang Theory timeline)

Missy Cooper (twin sister)

George “Georgie” Cooper Jr. (brother)

Missy’s unnamed son (nephew)

Constance “Connie” Tucker/”Meemaw” 

(maternal grandmother)

Charles “Charlie” Tucker/”Pop Pop” (maternal grandfather, deceased)

Spouse Amy Farrah Fowler
Children Leonard

at least one other (according to Young Sheldon narrations)

Nationality American
Birth date February 26, 1980

Bialik’s Thinking

Bialik doesn’t seem to think that the criticism of her character is warranted. She argues that all of the characters on the show could be considered “on the neuropsychiatric spectrum.” She cites Sheldon’s germaphobia and obsession with numbers as examples of this. While she admits that Amy isn’t conventional, she doesn’t believe that she is necessarily a bad representation of autism.

“So, I think what’s interesting and kind of sweet about our show is that we don’t pathologize our characters. We don’t talk about medicating them or even really changing them.

“And I think that’s what’s interesting for those of us who are unconventional people or who know and love people who are on any sort of spectrum, we often find ways to work around that. It doesn’t always need to be solved and medicated and labeled.”

And that’s what our show is all about. Showing that this group of people, who were likely teased and mocked, can have successful careers, active social lives, and relationships. It’s a fulfilling and satisfying life. And we hope that our show can inspire others to see the same potential in themselves.


“It’s a neat distinction, especially for a sitcom that seems to have inspired more than its fair share of pseudo-psychiatry and behavioral labeling online,” Bialy says.

She reveals that she is sometimes used as an advisor on these issues by The Big Bang Theory writers, alongside full-time science consultant David Saltzberg.

“We try to stay true to the science as much as possible,” she says. “But at the same time, we also want to tell a good story.”


It’s clear that Bialik is passionate about the show and its portrayal of Amy Farrah Fowler. She clearly has a strong understanding of both Asperger’s syndrome and autism, and she is able to see the character in a realistic light.

While some people may criticize the show for its lack of accuracy, it’s important to remember that it is a sitcom – not a documentary. And at the end of the day, the goal is to entertain viewers, not educate them.

So if you’re looking for a realistic portrayal of autism or Asperger’s syndrome, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’re just looking for a good laugh, then The Big Bang Theory is definitely worth checking out. 

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