And so many readers, critics and book-talkers took this as fact – which could very well be ridiculous when the ‘diagnosis’ is just the scrambling of some very secondary characters that prove elsewhere to be relatively useless in their pursuits.
This is a woman who has been abused by family, government and country. She doesn’t trust anyone – and why should she? Of course she’s quiet, non-social and a bit odd. She was locked up wrongly in a mental institution for years! She didn’t have a normal childhood. She is alone and an outcast.
According to WebMD, these are the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome:
- Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
- Dislike any changes in routines.
- Appear to lack empathy.
- Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech. Thus, your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. Likewise, his or her speech may be flat and difficult to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.
- Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word “beckon” instead of “call” or the word “return” instead of “come back.”
- Avoid eye contact or stare at others.
- Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
- Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger’s syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy. They may show an unusual interest in certain topics such as snakes, names of stars, or dinosaurs.
- Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.
- Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
- Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, see sensory integration dysfunction.
What do you think? Does Lisbeth have Asperger’s? Was that Stieg Larsson’s intention? Is there a difference between the likelihood of her having this disease in the books versus the movies?