A bold statement indeed. You see my son (9 yrs old) has Aspergers Syndrome. In laments terms he lacks socialization skills, he obsessive with things only he likes and he is gifted in certain areas such as math, science and visual problem solving. So…how does this relate to Batman? As a father I am constantly giving encouragement and positivity to both my children. But for my son, absolutely needs it. On one of the small free moments I get, I obsessively play one of my favorite games, Batman: Arkham Origins. That day my son was watching me expertly dispatch twenty thugs using the games awesome combo system. My son was hypnotized. Then out of nowhere I commented to him saying, “You know, you are like Batman, a hero for good and justice. Just don’t beat people up." Then it hit me.
Batman has Aspergers. The similarities are all there when I started to really think about Batman’s origin and how it relates to my son. Thank God that my wife, who is a psychologist and myself are alive to care and mentor our children. Then I started to think about Bruce Wayne. He lost his parents. No mentorship or guidance. My son is almost lost without his mother. He constantly look to her for guidance and love. Who doesn’t love a mothers touch? But, what if she and I were gone? He would obsess about the fact that we’re gone. But to witness the murder of both parents like Bruce Wayne did, he would never forget. He would relentlessly figure out a way for something as tragic as that to never happen again. And if he was left a trust of over a billion dollars like Bruce Wayne, he might become a sort of vigilante.
Now, lets go over some of the traits of an Asperger Syndrome and how it relates to Batman.
Problems with Social Skills:
One of the most recognized trait of an Aspie. They prefer to be alone and be by themselves. If they do converse, most likely it would be about something that they like or great at. Now if you meet an Aspie who does interact well with others, they have trained themselves to appear and interact normal, just so they can fit in. Sounds familiar? Bruce Wayne is just like that. Bruce’s true identity is Batman. Bruce Wayne is the disguise. He is a talented thespian that plays his role well to throw off suspicion that he is secretly Batman. Lastly, the proof is in the hundreds of comics which many of the heroes that worked with Batman, call him an asshole or dick. They can’t understand his unwavering obsessive behavior. It is extremely difficult and nigh impossible to be Batman’s friend. And if you are, it is a means to an end.
Unusual Preoccupations or Rituals:
Umm, dressing up like a stylized Bat and beating criminals to a pulp. ‘Nuff said. But seriously. My son has the capacity for violence. As his Dad I constantly have to steer him away from violent programming and even games. Certain Aspies can have a tendency to obsess over anything. Think of it as a person who can literally become addicted to anything. Repetitive habits are calming to Aspies, but can be dangerous if not monitored. Now back to Batman. Bruce Wayne’s only mentor was Alfred Pennyworth. If you don’t have a psyche degree or are knowledgeable about mental behavior the average person won’t know about Aspergers. All they will see is a hurt child who needs relief or distraction from the mental pain they feel. Alfred unknowingly gave into Bruce’s obsessive needs which became habitual.
My son interests (for right now, because it can shift anywhere between 10 and 12 years old) is strictly toys and anything related to Robots (Iron Man), Sonic the Hedgehog or Spiderman. It is up to my wife and I to encourage other topics, which he shows a high tendency for electronics and robotics. Batman, however is obsessed with the eradication of all criminals. He reversed engineered a brilliant, ritualistic plan to execute his goal. Build his body and mind to a near perfect degree, then use his unlimited resources to build devices to assist in that plan.
Skilled and Talented:
Did you know the greatest minds and scientist on the planet has Asperger’s? Albert Einstein, Bobby Fischer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig van Beethoven, Howard Hughes, Bill Gates, Isaac Asimov, the list goes on. Batman’s intellect is incomparable. He is knowledgeable in pretty much every single discipline on the face of the Earth from Bio-mechanics to Martial Arts. Only an Aspie has a focus of that level to learn and remember everything at any given time.
Batman gives a new meaning to “high-functioning”. It is a daily challenge when trying to fit into an Aspies world. It takes a lot patience and understanding. But for me, whenever I look into my son’s eyes I know I am looking at the next Bill Gates or better yet the next Batman (minus the beating criminals to a pulp).