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Non-verbal cues » Blogging AS an Aspie
Matt has Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is writing this blog so that people can gain more of an insight into how people with the condition process thoughts, feel emotions, react to situations and generally handle life.

29 Feb 08 Non-verbal cues

I was watching Channel 4‘s Big Bang Theory last night, and noticed that Leonard and Sheldon had so much in common with Aspies. For one thing, I can most definately relate to Howard’s comment about being a “self-taught sexual harrasment law expert”, although much of my own teaching has came from the 50,000 trying to protect me from committing an offence under it!

Anyway, having watched the latest episode, The Fuzzy Boots Corollary, I was simply stunned at Leonard’s total lack of apprecation of non-verbal cues in signalling inner emotion. Here is some of the non-verbal cues I spotted:

  • At the end, when Penny asks Leonard if it was a date, Penny subconciously strokes her hair back behind her shoulder; indicating that she may like him more than as a friend;

  • Again, when Leonard is very badly lying about it not being a date, Penny again touches her face and hair; confirming the above signal that she may like him more than as a friend;

  • Sitting at the table in the restaurant, Penny turns to face Leonard, and is making good eye contact, showing that she is interested in what he has to say.

  • But, when Leonard orders the waitress away, Penny turns her head away slightly, raises her voice a little, and her facial expression shows she is a little annoyed with Leonard for his actions. I don’t think Penny understood why he did so, either.

  • When Leonard bangs his head under the table, Penny shows genuine concern and sympathy for Leonard, offering to drive him to hospital, and noticing the possible signs of a concussion.

So, how many did you notice? Or, did you spot more than me?

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