We all have our hobbies, but there are some things that autistic people seem to enjoy more than others. One interest many autistic people seem to have in common is an affinity for science fiction. But what is it about space travel and futuristic fantasy that autistic people connect with so much? Why do they enjoy escaping to faraway galaxies via books, films, and games? Climb aboard our rocket ship, buckle up, and let’s explore the possible reasons why some autistic people love sci-fi. Download the PDF Relatable characters Many science fiction characters are written in such a way that autistic people can relate to them. Aliens and robots, in particular, (like Mr. Spock from Star Trek) can struggle to understand complex emotions, social cues, and other aspects of interaction – something that can strike a chord with autistic individuals. They can easily find common ground with science fiction characters, and therefore enjoy spending time in their company. Worlds with purpose Science fiction stories are often set in worlds completely removed from our own. These are usually split into utopias and dystopias – both of which can resonate with autistic people in their own unique way. Even if autistic people feel different from everyone else in a utopia, their differences are embraced and valued. In a dystopia, it’s often the people who are different and challenge the status quo that rise triumphant. Autistic people have a clear and important role in each situation. Clear morality A large proportion of autistic individuals share a profound sense of morals, and a distinct idea of what’s right and what’s wrong. The moral outcome of a character’s choices is often a major theme in science fiction, and the moral directions of both protagonist and antagonist are clearly defined. This almost black and white situation is an escapist fantasy for people with autism. A world without ambiguity and contradiction – where people say what they mean, and mean what they say. A sense of belonging It’s no secret that the science fiction community is one of the most fanatical around. Autistic people tend to focus on one specific hobby or interest, so when they’re surrounded by science fiction enthusiasts, they’re right at home. It’s natural for anyone to want to be part of a tribe, but difficulty socialising can make it tough for autistic individuals to find theirs. For some, science fiction creates the ideal environment for feeling a true sense of belonging. Download the PDF Giving autistic and non-verbal children the means to connect with others Hobbies are best enjoyed with others, but without the tools to communicate, autistic and non-verbal children can find it difficult to make connections. That’s why we developed app2vox: a completely free app that has everything they need to interact with the world around them. From text-to-speech and phrase building to intuitive icons, we’re on a mission to make children everywhere feel empowered to express themselves. Find out more about how the app works, or register your interest to stay up to date with developments. If you’d like to carry on reading, we also have a ton of helpful resources you can take a look at, including tips on beating the winter blues as an autistic person, autism-friendly holiday destinations, and more. Other Resources Understanding autism in adults We discuss how autistic adults can lack support, be misunderstood and have a poorer quality of life compared to autistic children. What causes autism? This resource is intended to give an overview of what is understood about the causes of autism, and the issues that arise from this. Genetic distinctions between autism and ADHD Autism and ADHD share a lot of similar symptoms, and they’re often confused as a result. We look at the genetic distinctions that separate the two.