Is Ian From Big Brother Autistic?
IS THE HIGHLY INTELLIGENT IAN TERRY FROM CBS’ ‘BIG BROTHER’ AUTISTIC, OR IS HE JUST A GOOFY GEEK?
Ever since I’ve did this post on Ian when this season of ‘Big Brother’ first started, the internet has been abuzz with this very question. That post is still very popular here on KELLYGREEN [blog], so I thought I’d update it with some of my thoughts. I’ve also done a little digging on Ian and autism in general.
Well, there’s not a lot of information available on him, at least not yet. He’s still locked up in the house, so we’ll just have to make some (educated?) guesses.
My original post was really just an homage to his cuteness. I find him adorable—weird ticks and facial expressions and all. Now, there is something I find intriguing and probably you could say sexy about people with high-functioning autism, like Asperger’s Syndrome (which I inferred in my original post). We know that autism is a broad spectrum of disorders that doesn’t necessarily effect intelligence, it’s a disorder of behavior.
So, if you’ve ever seen this season of ‘Big Brother’ then you know that Ian is certainly capable of odd behavior. In one episode early on, he was sneaking around the house in the middle of the night. This is not so weird in and of itself except for the fact that Ian did do some things that I have read as being consistent with high-functioning autistics: walking on the tips of your toes and crawling into tight spaces for comfort. He did both of these things. In one scene from the show he got on the floor and nearly crawled into a confined space under some of the built-in furniture on the set. It appeared that Ian stopped himself when he realized what he was doing. Seemingly an admission of ‘unusual’ adult behavior.
Is this enough to diagnose the awkward cutie? Well, it certainly would be in many blog’s comment sections, but I’d say we just can’t be certain until we hear it from Ian himself. Honestly, at this point, I’d just chalk it up to odd behavior. He also can be quite literal at times, sometimes unable to see the joke in something. He feels compelled to correct people. Also, you can see in some of the past challenges, he is 100% confident in his memory and strategic skills. So, okay we have highly intelligent and goofy/awkward. Still not enough to label him as autistic—high-functioning, or otherwise.
Not that it would make any difference if he were autistic or not, he seems quite happy, healthy, and is—by all accounts—successful in his life (studying neuroscience at Tulane). I actually think he has a good shot at winning the $500,000. So who cares about his place on the spectrum, really?
Well, I guess I do. I am a human being so I’m naturally curious. I would love to know. It’s not the first time, we’d have had a person with high-functioning autism on a CBS reality show. Zev Glassenberg competed on ‘The Amazing Race’ back in 2009. His time on the show ended when he lost his passport.
What do you guys think about Ian? Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Is there anyone out there with autism, or with experience on the topic that can shed some light? I’m curious…