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#toph has autism
lathyrus-infodumps · 4 months ago
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Autistic Toph Beifong Thoughts
It’s been said before hundreds of times - Toph Beifong is definitely autistic. But I wanna talk about some thoughts/ideas I have for Toph! I like the idea of her wearing her hair in a ponytail or have it cut super short. Like at first when forced living with her family, it would be very long and luxurious of course, but she always wanted to cut it, specifically because she doesn’t like the sensory experience of her hair being long touching her neck and around her shoulders. So when she leaves with the Gaang, she finally chops it off and it's super choppy and uneven, but she loves it, especially because it's her finally having some control over her image, even if she can't see what she looks like. I love the idea of non-binary Toph using she/her and they/them pronouns. Also aromantic and asexual Toph, or maybe a demiromantic lesbian asexual Toph. I honestly can't see her liking guys.
She has really bad tactile sensory issues, amplified by her blindness. She hates jewelry; as a child, her parents had to "fight" her to force her to wear luxurious jewelry and put her hair into tight braids and buns to look "beautiful." It caused a lot of meltdowns and shutdowns; I imagine she has a lot of childhood trauma and when she leaves with the Gaang and talks about her childhood and her life, she, with the help of the Gaang, realizes how abusive her family is eventually, down the line, learns to heal from trauma, accept it and such.
I love the nose picking in-show that she does purely because that's a genuine sensory/stim thing that a lot of neurodivergent people do (I forgot what it’s called!). I honestly think her autistic coding is intentional; there's a lot of small details into Toph's character that really scream Autism to me and I love it. The nose picking is just one thing I picked up on and her feet sensitivity is an obvious one, but I like it still. Her loose-fitted outfit could be partially due to sensory issues; the fact she doesn't clean her feet at all due to the sensory issues (and the fact it messes with her ability to "see"). Also like the idea of shoes being a really bad sensory for her. Her parents also had to fight to force her to wear them.
The fact she was shown to be really uncomfortable and unhappy in the desert because she couldn't "See", I imagine the feeling of the sand was a really bad sensory issue for her, only amplified by the fact she couldn't "See" in the sand. I like the idea of Toph hating sand and water - sand because the inability to see and Horrible Sensory; water because she can't see in it, and if she's touching the "ground" in water, she'll be touching Sand. So I imagine she Does Not Like Water Or Sand.
I imagine she absolutely loves to stim by sinking her feet and toes into grass - you know when you're standing barefoot on grass and you sink your toes in, spreading your toes and kinda "clenching", feeling the grass? No? Just me? Well Toph does that and it is one of, if not the, most comforting stim for her and she does it constantly when she's walking on grass. She also loves just touching the grass, feeling it between her fingers. At her home, when she'd get into fights with her parents, she'd run out into the yard and lay down in the grass, listening all around her, feeling the grass on her skin; it helps her calm down.
Anyways Toph Beifong is my #1 comfort character and I love her a lot, I have so many thoughts and ideas for her, her personality/character/etc. and would love to share more if anyone’s interested <3 I can infodump about Toph, instant serotonin.
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sokkagatekeeper · 4 months ago
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analysis masterpost <3 so true
will update regularly so maybe check that
general
atla is about self-recognition
katara-zuko sokka-azula femininity-masculinity parallels
if u ppl could stop saying that the water tribes are the only nation with sexism that would be great thanks
sokka
the 4th part of the thematic triangle (dare i say. the fool)
sokkayue bestest romance in atla!!!!!!!!!!!
sokka’s master: the ultimate queer neurodivergence episode
nonbinary sokka: more likely than you think
why sokka believes everyone around him is dumb as shit
sokka and jet and the demands of war also known as why sokka is a better version of jet it’s literally canon
sokka’s three types of repression
ultimate sokka repression pos to bring up at future arguments
sokka’s murder boy summer
a proper continuation of sokka’s arc
apologia of sokka (for robbing wan shi tong)
nonbinary sokka: the sequel
sokka’s callousness on the painted lady and why he was right actually, as always
yes dear sokka does like women
katara
katara’s bending as revolution
katara chooses herself
definitve analysis on katara’s hope to bring up in future arguments
katara’s compassion has [gasp!] complexities
so maybe katara is straight fellas
katara in the painted lady + subverting racist tropes, being amazing about it
zuko
idealist zuko agenda
zuko gay (thematically relevant)
‘should zuko become firelord at the end of the show?’ and other questions that make me want to rip my eyes out
the duality of zuzu: ultimate analysis, which if u don't comprehend i will simply beat you with a stick. its 2021
(not an analysis nor original) zuko + pink clouding
what jin did for all of us (and zuko)
aang
aang saves the heroes
establishing aang as the perfect protagonist
gyatso’s teachings to aang
aang’s teachings to the world
a general of aang’s relationship with kyoshi
aang and his self
toph
the perfect earthbending teacher
toph’s earthbending as a recreational activity
toph’s advice to iroh
sokka & katara
how sokka repressing himself affects katara
behind katara comforting sokka
painted lady + sokka’s master and symbiotic relationships
sokka-katara gender themes
moms & misunderstandings
yet another analysis on That One Exange in tsr pls leave me alone
sokka & zuko
zuko relating to sokka’s death wish
zukka responsibility trauma
there are many identity issues around, but at least they're in love
otp: pessimistic idealist + pessimistic realist
zuko understands and sokka allows himself to be understood
adhd/autism románce
soulmatism is fake (but also it's not)
toph & aang
the first person to see toph
zuko & azula
they love each other actually
sokka & suki
before the kiss
sukka Good
the ULTIMATE bi4bi relationship
sokka & toph
why sokka and toph are so bro with each other
sokka & azula
[bully voice] sokka is smarter than azula lalalalal
katara & zuko
katara voice zuko?? you mean sokka 2?
iroh
sorry i don't want to be an iroh apologist but you guys are making it so difficult 😣
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saphira-approves · 9 months ago
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I have seen a lot of posts saying its albeist to cure someone of disability but I have seen one (I'm going to try and I find it) saying that in a fictional setting why cant people who have chronic pain (or any other disability) get given that wish fulfilment of being free from that pain
Yeah, those are the posts I’m referring to. I’ll do a little more research into it, but my understanding of it is basically “why can’t someone constantly in pain imagine a life where they’re NOT constantly in pain?”
Like, it’s ableist to say Geordi la Forge’s blindness should be cured, because he’s still a valuable—actually I’d say invaluable—member of the Enterprise, even with his disability; it’s ableist to say Toph’s blindness should be cured, because her blindness led her to strengthen her earthbending; it’s ableist to say Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road should grow back a new arm, because what the hell, are you insane; it’s ableist to say someone with autism should be cured. I might even say it’s ableist to say anyone should be cured without asking if they even want to be cured, because that’s the crux of the problem: no one abled ever asks.
The main post I refer to brings up the scene in one of the X-Men movies, where the government announces a cure for mutants, and Rogue bursts in, ecstatic, because she wants to be cured of her ability to hurt people by just touching them, while Storm, who has storm powers, who can control her powers, says there’s nothing to cure, there’s nothing “wrong” with being a mutant—and of course, there isn’t! But Rogue wants to be cured, because in her situation, her own ability is dangerous, volatile, and difficult to control.
And to bring it back to a real-life situation, let me present my own disability: I’m fairly certain I have undiagnosed ADHD. Both of my sisters are fairly certain they have undiagnosed ADHD; my oldest sister’s two kids definitely have ADHD, they have been diagnosed; my dad is fairly certain he has undiagnosed ADHD. Most of the time, I function just fine, but sometimes I just don’t. Executive dysfunction is a bitch. It’s a 50/50 chance whether schoolwork is tolerable or torture, and I enjoy school, I enjoy learning, but even in some of my favorite classes I struggle to keep up my grades because of assignments I put off, put off, put off, oh it’s too late now why would I even do them at this point. And even then, most of the time I don’t actually want this cured; I like how my brain works, the connections I make and the patterns I see are unique and, in the right circumstances, I can do absolutely fantastic work.
But I kind of want to know what it’s like, you know? To not have executive dysfunction, to have the willpower to make and stick to a routine of my own design, to consider the idea “hey, maybe my professor won’t slam-dunk me to the seventh circle of hell if I email and ask for help/an extension/advice.” Of course, the meda I would need for that require hoops that I’m not fitted out to jump through right now (thanks USA healthcare system /s), but like. One day. If I could have one day without the negatives of my own brain, I would want to see what it’s like.
Tl;dr: actual disabled peoples’ opinions and experiences should be referred to in cases of what we should do with/to disabled people!
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nyx-oskurita · 3 months ago
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Part 2 of my Favorite Characters with disabilities in anime! Part 1 here: https://preseacomb22.tumblr.com/post/655646471667007488/for-those-who-dont-know-july-is-disability
Following up we have Mashiro Shiina.
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Anime- Sakura-sō no Petto na Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
Disability- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
She is eccentric, as if living in her own world. As a result, she typically reacts to situations in an unconventional manner and operates on very different morals from others. For example, at times, Mashiro gives Sorata encouraging words that leave him confused instead of motivated. Mashiro can be considered an idealistic person, able to have faith in others quite easily and is quickly convinced of another's potential based on how hard that person is trying to achieve their goal. It’s hard not to love this girl really. ☺️
Who to follow up with than none other than the prince himself Death the Kid!
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Anime- Soul Eater
Disability- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
One of the greatest reapers of all time, Kid has been a favorite for as long as I can remember and his weakness to symmetry can only be described as endearing at times. Paired up with his trusty weapons Liz and Patty, Kid is always a joy to have on your screen.
Second to last on my list we have Kumogi.
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Anime- Hunter x Hunter
Disability- Blindness
Lacking common knowledge at times yet brilliant in Gungi! This chick is so amazing at the game that she created a legendary move known as Kokoriko and the instant someone used it against her a year after creating it, she instantly countered it causing its disappearance from textbooks 🤣🤣. Amazing. Best Girl 😁
Last but not least, although it’s not “technically” an anime, it was inspired by many. We have the Legendary Toph Beifong!
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Series- Avatar The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra.
Disability- Blindness (also too much of a badass 😝)
What can be said about Toph other than she’s single handedly the greatest character of all time and media. There. I said what I said! Lol
Honorable Mention!
Not for nothing or anything but I would like to add Rock Lee to the characters with disabilities list of favs because let’s be honest, not being able to use Ninjutsu in a ninja world when it’s literally required for you to become a ninja is 100% a disability, and my boy still managed to become a splendid ninja.
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quiet-or-die · 10 months ago
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I am a rp account but chrissake, someone needs to say it already: it does NOT actually matter if Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender ACTUALLY has autism. He is a fictional character. There is NO point in “proving” he does not have autism.
The point is that some people with autism identify with him.
The point of stories and literary criticism is to connect the fictional to the non-fictional.
Doctors, psychologists, etc: it is NOT your place to diagnosis this fictional character. This character was NOT written for you. He was written for kids. And if anyone, especially a CHILD, identifies with him how dare you tear them down. Writers do not write characters for the purpose of being diagnosed. Obviously a fictional character will probably not fit all of your requirements for diagnosis. Or else would Toph still be considered blind????
Listen to the autistic people and why they identify with Zuko. You may actually learn something.
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crazyfanatic58-blog · 5 months ago
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Avatar Main Ideas For My Fanfic
Legend of Korra and the Avatar Comics are not canon in my fanfic because they suck ass.
Aang and Katara will not be a couple, but they remain as close friends.
Mai and Zuko will break up, and Mai will join the Freedom Fighters and will date Jet.
Azula is getting a redemption arc, have her own found family (Toph, Koda, Ariyna, and Hei), and will become the Fire Spirt once she is trained by Agni herself.
Jet, Long Feng, Haru, Teo, and others will be back in our fanfic.
Toph will move away from the Gaang, and will travel with Azula to become the new Earth Spirit. Fuck being a cop and a teacher.
My oc character Koda will be a blood bender who has dissociated identity disorder. He will be a student of Katara. He will be apart Toph and Azula Gang, and he will be Ariyna adoptive/ foster brother. He will become the new Ocean Spirit and will date Yue.
Katara will slowly developed feeling for Zuko.
Arinya will have autism, expert inventor, a very good non-bender fighter, and will be Azula’s girlfriend and Koda foster /adoptive sister.
My oc’s character Hei will the Spirit Ruler, the opposite of the Avatar’s Spirit, he controls the spirits, undead, and animals. He can bend light, darkness, decay, flight, plant/wood, hellfire, move back and forth in time, telepathy, and do the penance stare on the wicked. He will be the main guide into helping Toph And Azula with their new destinies as Spirits. Sometimes he will become a girl, so he’s gender fluid. He will be Toph’s love interest.
Jet will have a redemption arc as well, while Long Feng will be the main villain for half my fanfic.
The main antagonist of my fanfic will be the evil elemental spirits. The evil Earth Spirit, Pan, will possess Long Feng into conquering the entire Earth Kingdom. The evil Fire Spirit, Iblis, will be responsible for corrupting Sozin, and making the entire royal family into huge assholes. The evil air spirit, Samael, will try tempt Aang to selling his soul for Katara’s affection. The evil Ocean Spirit, Leviathan, will be responsible for why Koda has multiple personalities and will try to keep the North and South divided. Koda, Azula, Toph, and Teo will need to collect the evil spirits and fuse them with the good spirits to become the new elemental spirits of both good and evil.
Teo will be apart of the Air Nomads along with Ty Lee and they will help Aang and Hei restoring the Air Nomads. Teo will become the new Air Spirit, date Ty Lee, and be apart of Azula and Toph new group at the end like how Suki is apart of the Gaang.
Many Kyoshi Warriors, Freedom Fighters, and others around the world are descended from Air Nomads.
Zuko and Azula fixing up their relationship with each other with Azula apologizing first and trying to get Zuko’s trust. The reason why their relationship was bad with each other because of Ozai’s setting them against each other. Azula and Zuko never really abused each other, it was more of an toxic rivalry. Azula will sacrifice her life at the end for Zuko’s sake.
Ursa will stayed dead, but she will meet Azula and Zuko again as a ghost.
Azula and Zuko will never see Mai and Ty Lee ever again because Mai and Ty Lee deserves better than being apart of the royal family shitfest.
Suki and Sokka will explore the Water Tribes and Earth Kingdom together. They will join the White Lotus.
The Red Lotus wants to bring an end to the monarchy with Ezion’s as the leader. Ezion is Ursa’s nephew who wants to kill the royal family because Ozai kill his entire family for being Roku’s descendants. Let just say he’s kinda like Sasuke Uchiha with the whole destroying a fucked system. He will be Zuko’s new nemesis, and both Zuko and Azula needs to work together to defeat him. He will contain Iblis, the evil Fire Spirit, so he’s a lot stronger than Ozai at Sozin’s Comet.
The old White Lotus Pakku, Jeong Jeong, Paindao, and King Bumi will all die during my fanfic. Arinya, Jet, Sokka, Mai, Ty Lee, Haru, Jin, Zuko, Katara, and Suki will be new members of the White Lotus. Many others will join. They will make sure only good people are in power and to protect Aang. Iroh will have his tea shop at the Fire Nation in case Zuko need help as well as new members.
There will be new bending subskill for every element. Earth: bone, wood, lava, diamond, glass, etc. Air: shadow, flight, sound, decay, death, etc. Water: boiling, mist, poison, etc. Fire: light, smoke, explosive, laser, multi-color flames, white flames, heatwaves, etc.
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lesbiancapybara · a year ago
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ATLA neurodivergent headcanons borne from my sudden need to Project:
Aang has anxiety and anxiety-induced insomnia (this is basically canon already)
Most of the time when he wakes up in the middle of the night he’ll just lie there until it’s an acceptable time to get up and start doing things
Eventually Katara catches on to this and helps him work out an exercise regime that he can do quietly to help him get back to sleep
When he was a little kid he hyperfixated hard on animals; to this day he can spout random facts about any animal on command
Aang and Katara both have very good visual memories
Katara’s the type of neurodivergent who is high-functioning and therefore goes undiagnosed for most of her life
She has days where she’s wildly productive and then she’ll crash and experience terrible burnout
Sokka is an ADHD legend
He creates schedules for each day based on how his brain naturally sections off time (ahaha i do that). If the schedule gets thrown off he feels lost and will just mope around
He’s a master at puzzle games and strategy games
He can play for hours on end before remembering to eat
He is undefeated at Settlers of Catan; Azula came close once and nearly threw hands over it
He stims with a Rubik’s cube
Toph and Zuko both have difficulty processing emotions. In Toph’s case it makes her come off as uncaring (which she isn’t), whereas in Zuko’s case it makes him seem overly sensitive
Zuko, Toph, and Azula all have problems with volume control, but as Rich Kids With Controlling Parents they were forced to learn how to deal with these issues quickly
Zuko stims by shaking his hands; sometimes he creates sparks on accident while he’s stimming and nearly lights his clothes on fire
He doesn’t talk to animals in baby talk and instead talks to them like they’re normal people (my brother does this and it reminds me of Zuko big time)
He and Aang bond over their mutual past hyperfixation on animals
Zuko can and will infodump about symbolism in literature; Sokka, meanwhile, is fascinated by the syntax of writing, and once they discover this common ground it’s all they talk about
Basically Sokka and Zuko are ADHD/autism solidarity
It takes all of Azula’s willpower not to stim with her hair; she got scolded for doing it once and ever since she’s worked on conditioning herself not to do it again. She’d cut it short if she knew she could get away with it
Ty Lee is the queen of outwardly stimming, often rocking back and forth or bouncing up and down
Most people act like it’s just a Cute Quirky Ty Lee Thing
Mai is the only person who doesn’t make it weird
Mai hates the feeling of paint and makeup on her skin
She also prefers heavy clothing, and sleeps with a weighted blanket
She’d never admit it but she could watch those Instagram soap-cutting videos all day
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rowandor · 5 months ago
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✨what draws you towards your hyperfixation? what is interesting about it? / 🏳‍🌈 do you have any headcanons (lgbt, race, neuro, etc) that are important to you? / 🍀 do you have any kins or comfort characters from your hyperfixation? for any of your fixations 😊
Thanks so much, @cryptichobbit, this is so sweet of you to send! Warning, I have a LOT of Hyperfixations and I ramble like you wouldn’t believe, so this might take awhile. Here’s the biggest ones so you can keep track:
🧬 Biology, Death & Morticians, Feral Scientists
🎲 Dungeons & Dragons / Critical Role
🗡️ Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit
🎭 Art, Writing, Smithing, etc.
⛩️ Mythology & Folklore
✨What draws you towards your hyperfixation? What is interesting about it?
Well, first things first, I was born with and still have a lot of health problems, so I first got into Biology as a way to understand and explain myself and the world at large. You know how most Psychology Majors go into that because they’re trying to figure themselves out? That’s me with Biology. I also really like studying decomposition and the science of death and decay too, because I’m weird. There’s this channel called “Ask a Mortician” who really influenced me with all of that. And then I’ve also been drawing since I could pick up a pencil, which then extended into writing, which has since grown into an interest in smithing and other art forms. Also, I used to do theatre as a kid! So Art and Science have always shared equally important places in my heart.
My Dad would read me Lord of the Rings and Tolkien as bedtime stories every night, which is actually partially responsible for my strong vocabulary (If you read my work, it’s abundantly clear I was raised by an Attorney who loved Tolkien, haha) so I was born to get into that, honestly. I distinctly remember staying up late into the night, worrying about how Sam and Frodo would get out of Shelob’s Lair. I genuinely couldn’t sleep after he read that chapter, it’s adorable to think back on. The Mythology interest also came from my Dad. He’s a Deacon in an Orthodox Christian Church, and his family came to America from Poland, so he knows a lot about cultures and folklore from Europe. So I basically grew up on Slavic and Irish Folklore, but I’ve also branched out to other cultures like Asian, African and even some Latin American myths!
The D&D interest came partially from Tolkien, since I’d always wanted to have my own Magical Adventure and D&D gave me a way to do that. But interestingly enough, I have Autism and it runs in my family - My dad, my eldest brother and I all have it - and every Autistic person in our family has a Fantasy Hyperfixation. My Dad’s obsessed with Tolkien, my Brother’s is World of Warcraft, and mine is Dungeons & Dragons. So I find it interesting how we all found solace in Fantasy since we all have Autism, like it carried through the generations.
🏳‍🌈 Do you have any headcanons (lgbt, race, neuro, etc) that are important to you?
The Headcanons I hold closest to my heart are the ones about Autism and LGBT, especially Bisexual, A-spec and Trans/Nonbinary Headcanons. I also do ADORE seeing racially diverse Headcanons too. I feel bad because I was a white girl raised on Slavic Folklore, so I feel like I don’t know as much about racial diversity and other cultures as I should, so I take those headcanons as an opportunity to learn and expand my horizons. I really want to learn and grow to be more accepting, especially when it comes to hard issues like that and the struggles POC face. Plus, seeing people draw Characters as black, asian, latinx, etc. is just so cool to see, it makes the designs so much more vibrant and interesting. Here’s a quick list of some personal Headcanons I enjoy:
- Caleb Widogast and Caduceus Clay are Autistic
- Faramir is a Transgender Man (Denethor is Transphobic)
- The entire Pines Family from Gravity Falls has Autism
- All of the Hobbits are Autistic too
- Aragorn is Biseuxal and had a crush on both Arwen and Boromir
- Revali is Nonbinary
- Pippin is He/They Nonbinary
- Gomez and Morticia Addams are Goth Trans Icons
- Link has selective mutism and is Autistic
🍀 Do you have any kins or comfort characters from your hyperfixation? for any of your fixations?
I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re Kins, but I do have an entire list of Characters that give me Gender Envy, and that I deeply relate to:
🍵 Caduceus Clay (Critical Role)
💧 Ophelia (Hamlet)
🔥 Caleb Widogast (Critical Role)
🍷 Dionysus (Greek Mythology)
⚔️ Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)
🍄 Joxter (Moomins)
👁️ Jonathan Sims (The Magnus Archives)
⚰️ Charon (Hades Game)
🐎 Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)
👒 Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle)
✨ Merlin (Arthurian Legend)
📔 Stanford Pines (Gravity Falls)
🐬 Mipha (Breath of the Wild)
💀 Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice)
🗝️ Morgan le Fay (Arthurian Legend)
👊 Toph (Avatar the Last Airbender)
🧪Olivia Octavius (Into the Spiderverse)
Other comfort characters include Simon Petrikov, Megamind, Sidon, Revali, basically the entire Mighty Nein cast, and probably some more than I’m just forgetting.
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ineffectualdemon · 8 months ago
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Chapters: 29/45 Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Sokka/Zuko (Avatar) Characters: Sokka (Avatar), Zuko (Avatar), Azula (Avatar), Katara (Avatar), Aang (Avatar), The Gaang (Avatar), Toph Beifong, Yue (Avatar), Iroh (Avatar), Ursa (Avatar), Ozai (Avatar), Hakoda (Avatar), Kya (Avatar), Lu Ten Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe - Soulmates, Soulmates, Soul Bond, Spirits, Spiritbending & Spiritbenders (Avatar), Protective Sokka (Avatar), Zuko is an Awkward Turtleduck, Autistic Zuko (Avatar), Friends to Lovers, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Azula (Avatar) Redemption, Stimming, Autism, forced repression of stimming, Ableism, Ozai (Avatar) Being a Terrible Parent, Angst, Angst with a Happy Ending, Miscommunication, Doubt, Self-Doubt, Physical Abuse, Protective Zuko (Avatar), Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Hurt/Comfort, Deception, Fate & Destiny, Confrontations, Arguing, Choices, Confessions, Confusion, Communication, Slow Burn, Eventual Romance, Eventual Happy Ending, Happy Ending, Homophobia, Racism, Only a little of those two Summary:
Sokka and Zuko are soulmates.
Because of this from the time they are small the spirits take them to visit each other. No one else can see the spirit version of the other but it doesn't take much for the two to become friends.
But with their countries divided by war Zuko has to decide where his loyalties really are and maybe save not only his soulmate but his nation and his family from his father.
Sokka has to decide how exactly he feels about Zuko and come to terms with how much the spirit world likes him.
But they can do it together.
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androidemotions · a year ago
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neurodivergent gaang continued !!
Toph
i think she has autism 💚
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[ID: a screenshot of Toph and Aang sitting next to each other with their legs folded, they’re low-lit by a fire offscreen and holding bowls in one hand, Aang has chopsticks in the other which he has raised to his mouth, eyes closed as he takes a bite. Toph is smiling slightly as she raises her hand above her bowl. End ID.]
- toph is obviously very good at reading ppls voices, but she struggles a lot with interacting with people her own age, she’s very used to adults underestimating her due to her blindness, and since most of the way she’s prepared for interacting with people is based on that, when ppl dont, esp ppl her own age, she can get thrown for a loop and when ppl (like katara) ask her for help, or when she’s offered help, not out of pity but from empathy. she can be very callous in those situations because she desperately doesn't want to be perceived as weak.
- sincerity, she’s good a reading sincerity if she’s paying attention and putting effort into it, better than allistics would be if they were trying to read someone bc she picks up on the details of inflection that they might gloss over. But when she’s caught off guard by someone she often wont catch if someone is sarcastic or mocking. she’s on guard most of the time around ppl she doesnt know for this reason, but this understandably becomes v tiring and often she can just end up isolating herself to cope to avoid this kind of thing, but her friends will come around draw her back out.
- sarcasm, she likes being sarcastic a lot, because she finds dry humor really funny, and around friends it’s easy to pick up the tone of their sarcasm bc she’s used to them so she can be v relaxed in those moments. she’s super witty as well and has a specific sense of humor and will make funny observations a lot of times bc of how her perception works and how her brain works in general
-  stimming!!! she ends up picking her skin sometimes as a nervous stim, but katara will smack her hand away if she catches her doing it, sokka (and zuko) tend to be more understanding abt it and give her something else to do with her hands, and aang will distract her from what is troubling her. She likes the feel of dirt on her hands and feet and will just rub her hands over the earth and stick her toes in mud whenever she gets a chance.
- affection, she has a very complicated relationship with affection due to her parents' ableism and for a while she avoids processing this and limits her shows of affection by being aggressive. She’s also very very touch sensitive, and that complicates her feelings about physical affection further, but she does enjoy hugs and sometimes her friends will put an arm around her which she finds she doesn’t mind. And eventually she starts initiating these gentler moments of affection, sometimes grabbing her friends arms to let them lead her, asking for a hug, or leaning on their shoulders.
heres sokka & katara’s post, and aangs post
zuko (w/ bonus mai) !
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regulusrain · 2 months ago
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Adapting my two main OCs to atla.
Origin : Northern water tribe.
Bending : they're both waterbenders, but due to something spirit-related, Alceo is also able to airbend and Caleb is able to earthbend. It's complicated.
They were born as Yue's siblings, triplets. Unlike their sister, they didn't have any health issues. But given that they're triplets, spiritually they're almost considered one and thus when the moon spirit gave Yue the energy she needed to survive, they also received said energy (and the colorless side effects) but given that they had no issues (except the ADHD and autism, but you know) the spiritual energy got redirected elsewhere, giving them some form of airbending/earthbending. Alceo's hair and patches of their skin became white, while Caleb's hair remained dark but his skin became completely white all over (it can spook people. If he doesn't moves and closes his eyes you can mistake him for a corpse. This will later be used for ambushes.). Their form of airbending and earthbending is weird in the sense that they can do basically everything Airbenders or earthbenders do, but the elements come out weird. Alceo's wind is almost steam (and thus quite warm) and when Caleb bends earth, it's never really dry. It's not drenched or muddy, but it's never dry either. They think that since waterbending is their natural power, it seeps into their spirit-given bending. Alceo is good at waterbending and healing, they can also make the water they bend almost boiling, but they have trouble creating ice. They can extract water from air with effort, but not from anything else. They're also pretty great at guessing when it's gonna rain. Caleb is very, very good with ice, even better than with water. He's not that great at healing. He can locate large or not so large bodies of water, underground or not, from a distance. It's kinda like Toph's thing, except it only works to locate water (and it's more long-distance). Alceo constantly uses their airbending to create a cocoon of warm hair around their feet to be able to walk around shoeless, because they despise shoes (this has the effect if making them look as if they're not quite stepping on the ground but a bit above it. This also makes them.... Sort of immune to Toph's earth vision thing, since they aren't quite touching the ground. They're basically the only one who can snuck on Toph, and she hates it
). They have made their own flying staff, like Aang's but blue, it's made of hollow metal and there's a small blade at the tip and the wings are larger, they can fight with it. They're also very regularly selectively mute and use waterbending to write water words in the air instead of talking (it's challenging when they meet Toph, but they manage). Caleb is good at using either of his bending at long distance, because there's not much earth in any water tribe so he had to reach far to get earth to bend, and he's very good at manipulating ice lances to a distance. His waterbending is great for subtlety and fine control but not much for raw power and whole waves of ice. Unlike that, his earthbending can be pretty massive and violent, but his fine-tuning is not very on point. It's easier for him to manipulate earth if there's water in it but it's not much trouble if there's not. They were both very close to Yue but during the time she "died", they were in the earth kingdom to find someone who could teach better eartbending to Caleb. Alceo also used the opportunity to get better at hand-to-hand fighting and learn some earthbender moves to use in their own bending. They find Toph, who begrudgingly agree to teach them (even if Alceo's not an earthbender. They really like the earth katas. They also learn to tell when someone is lying by their breathing. It's not foolproof, but it works). Since they're primarily waterbenders, they feel the change in the moon when Yue becomes the moon. There's also something not quite right in their bond to their sister (since they're triplets - the triplet bond becomes weird after the moon thing. Sometimes they can hearfeel echoes from the moon, and it's weird but nice.). They come back home immediately (after thanking Toph). There they learn the full story. They're obviously devastated but decide to join the avatar to help him. They go in search of him, and meet Zuko somewhere. He's weird and awkward and oh they like him. He's nice. They travel together a little while (they don't... Tell each other they're searching for the avatar) and separate in the next big city (since they've both heard different rumors as to where the gaang is). The have their own little adventures along the way, and find aang just before he has this dream about Toph (they're also the ones who direct the gaang to Toph, because while Caleb is a good earthbender by waterbenders standards, by earthbender standards he's average and in no way a teacher). And from then on, they're with the gaang.
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mostly-mundane-atla · a year ago
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It's Autism Acceptance month and I'm autistic so here are some Avatar: the Last Airbender characters who no one can convince me aren't on the spectrum:
Zuko. Someone already made a detailed and thorough post about this and it was spot on so I'll just say it's everything about him.
Sokka. He seems to struggle with his motor skills and speaking without a script but can write haikus, where the poet fits words into a quantifiable number based pattern, on the spot. Overly logical ("He tried to get the first fish hook out with another fish hook") but once he understands a concept, he can apply it and adapt to it. He's usually the one to have all the details thought out and is considered "the idea guy" for this reason.
Mai. A shining example of an autist who was forced to assimilate to "normal" and socially acceptable behavior at all times, rather than accepted for their differences and taught how to be respectful of others. Never having the chance to express herself on her own terms, she comes off as emotionless and passive aggressive. She needs clear communication to understand others' motives (her confronting Zuko at the Boiling Rock was more demanding an explanation and getting frustrated at him not making sense to her than arguing him for the sake of it, and all their relationship issues come from lack of clear communication.)
Toph. A similar case with Mai, but infantalized instead of assimilated. One could argue that sharpened tactile sensitivity and hearing are just a result of blindness, but being emotionally blunt and direct don't inherently come with the territory. She needs things done specific way, (to quote Everything's Gonna Be Okay "there's no your way or my way, just the way.") and, similar to the three previously listed, has trouble feeling empathy. She doesn't easily connect with other people and doesn't always realize that they might want to help her because it's nice and not because they think she's incapable. She struggles with expressing affection conventionally and shows it in her own way.
Longshot. What else needs to be said except that our boy is a SEMIVERBAL ICON. (In all honesty though, at ten years old, he was the first character I knew of whose lack of speech wasn't meant to play him up as snooty, cutesy, stupid, or defective in any way. I didn't talk a lot as a kid, and it was a relief to see someone like me in that way as serious, tough, and incredibly skilled. He's probably the reason I got as into archery as I did and will always have a special place in my heart.)
How about you guys? Do you headcanon any characters I didn't mention as autistic?
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gendernewtral · a year ago
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people are more than happy to use toph’s blindness as a joke in fanart or posts with 100k notes but won’t use alt text or image descriptions for that fanart or make the post readable by screen reader.
general accessibility makes a website usable for blind people AND people with general processing disorders/adhd/autism/dissociation so like. why is it so hard for you to write out image text in the notes or use alt text. why is it so hard to describe an image in the notes or in alt text. y’all SEE how hard it is to be someone who is systematically not able to interact with the world in the same way other people can. how has it not occurred to you to change your behavior to make it easier for people to use this site in the way that actually lets them -use the site-.
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dont-blame-it-on-the-kids · 10 months ago
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I read a lot that Lin has trouble expressing her feelings and is poor at communicating... what if Lin has autism? maybe she doesn't even know she has it, but Kya may notice when she gets together with Lin. It's just something that's been going through my head recently... do you have any thoughts on that? (hc)
Hmm I don't think I'm at all qualified to coment on Autistic Lin hc. I personally could see it but I don't have enough good information to make good hc. But I would love to see people who have that information talk about it!
Personally I think it's a mix of rad and ptsd
Rad because from the get go she had broken realationships with her dad not in the picture and then Izumi only visiting every once in a while and then tenzin and the others traveling seemingly suddenly cuz she wasn't involved in the planning of their vacations. Without the structure of a mom and Toph letting her do as she pleased she would have sought foundation elsewhere but her aunts and uncles had lives of their own and came and went. Even Suyin wasn't steady she was always running around and getting into things and Lin from a young age was on her own.
That feeds into the ptsd and then with the bloodbender on The loose I think she was scared or hurt and remembers it too well. Then ontop of that the ptsd with suyin and then again with Amon and the spirit evil avatar that showed up and destroyed her town then the red lotus (for the second time it sounded like they were the ones who caught them the first time too) THEN Kuvira ontop of the fact that everyone around her never was on her side or there for her or listened to her
like woman's got problems and we are all free to hc and play around with it. Again I'd love to see more hc about it! But I'm not too comfortable making my own.
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mokonahapuuuuuu · a year ago
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(this is going to be in my published book)
‘Avatar: the Last Airbender’ is a TV show that incorporates disabled characters in an amazing way. One of the characters, Toph Beifong is blind. How the writers of the show write disabled characters makes it so that their disability is not their identity. You tend to forget that they were disabled in the first place.
Her overprotective parents saw her disability as a crutch. They smothered her, forgetting that she has her own hopes and dreams as a person. They were so caught up with trying to protect her, they didn’t even asked what she was good at, or tried to challenge her at all. In the show, it’s shown that she excels in her talent, even invents new things along the way.
Instead of pushing their daughter into the best person she could possibly be, they see her as someone who is blind, fragile, and helpless. Even though that she was coddled for just about all her life, it is shown that she can be independent and self-sufficient.
Most of the time, disabled children are so underestimated, their parents don’t even try to motivate them to push themselves into being the best they can be. Even that, or they underestimate themselves.
Helen Keller was deaf and blind herself, and to this day we still talk about her. Beethoven made music, and he couldn’t even hear.
Certain people have claimed that I have used my autism as a crutch to get out of certain things, but I’ve tried, and I know what I can and cannot do.
This is my own opinion: do what’s best for you. No one else knows you better than yourself, and no one can live your life but you.
Your disability may have knocked you down a couple of pegs, but it does not define you.
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neuronary · a year ago
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maestro: who's your favourite out of your OCs? or your favourite character to write in fanfiction?, scintilla: where do you get your ideas? and sequoia: if you could leave behind a legacy with your writing, what kind would you want to leave? ily neu!
muna i hope u know that i’d Give My Life for you.
maestro: who's your favourite out of your OCs? or your favourite character to write in fanfiction?
okay so. my favourite OC, or rather pair of OCs, are currently unnamed. i’m just calling them ‘the boy’ and ‘the girl’ these may not be their final genders. we’ll see. they’re from a spec script where they plot an elaborate escape from an insane asylum in victorian london and are then chased down by the girl’s older brother. the girl has extreme sensory issues and can’t abide by certain fabrics or layered noises. she was fine until her mother died and her brothers forced her to start going to busy parties in uncomfortable dresses. she’s been rotated around various hospitals for the past five to six years and has given up on ever actually getting out.
the boy hears people screaming and feels them grabbing at his arm which leads him to scratch at his arms to try and get the feeling off. he was sectioned when he had an ‘episode’ in public. he’s the one to convince the girl to escape with him.
basically they’re autism/psychosis solidarity and at the end of the movie they run away to france. also they do drag. it’s gonna be a fun time.
so far, my favourite character to write has been toph from avatar: the last airbender. she presents an interesting challenge in focusing more on what things sound and feel like rather than look like. i also Love Her.
scintilla: where do you get your ideas?
[posh ‘artist’ voice] they just come to me
no, but really? i have Too Many ideas. i’m a big daydreamer so a lot of things get halfway outlined without me really meaning them to. the victorian asylum escapee movie i mentioned? i watched the enola holmes trailer and umbrella academy season two in the same week. bada bing bada boom. a movie.
sequoia: if you could leave behind a legacy with your writing, what kind would you want to leave?
ultimately, the legacy i’d want to leave with my writing would be an innately political one. i want to inspire young revolutionaries to create a better world by showing them what those better worlds could look like, and i want to remind people of how genuinely Good people are when they’re feeling like giving up. i’m fighting for people, and the best way i can do that is to show people the people i see.
asks for writers
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xjulls · a year ago
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POWERFUL FEMALE CHARACTERS pt1
Catra
You can say all you want about Catra but there’s no way you can say that she’s weak. She was really close to beating the princesses and taking down Adora lots of times. She obviously didn’t do it because of her feelings and the fact that she wasn’t truly evil.
The time she spent in the Horde made a mark on her. She was a truly broken character and got a really good redemption and healing arc.
She was good at planning and getting what she wanted. She had a way with distracting She-Ra (hot ways but whatever).
She was hot and knew how to fight.
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Adora
Besides her powers Adora was really good at planning as you could notice by princesses saying lots of times that she always makes the plan. She was powerful of course because of the sword. But she was also strong mentally. All the years she spent in Horde being mentally abused and probably physically too didn’t stop her from making the right decisions. She always put everyone else above her and tried to help anyone.
She was brave, selfles, kind and good.
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Whole Princess Alliance
Every single one of the princesses was so brave and strong. They all so much believed in one another and even when the odds were bad they stood by and fought.
You can see their true power when in season 5 some of them were chipped and the rest had a hard time taking them down.
They were all so understanding and supportive. Entrapta has autism and none of them made her feel like she’s worse or not enough. They were mad at her for hurting them but eventually they all forgave her and trusted her with their lives.
I love how special and unique all of them were. What they represent and how they chose love and friendship over hatred. (Perfuma was holding back her power because she was scared of really hurting someone).
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Ahsoka Tano
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Sabine Wren
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Padme Amidala
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Jinora
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Opal
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Toph
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Rayla
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ineffectualdemon · 11 months ago
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Chapters: 27/45 Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Sokka/Zuko (Avatar) Characters: Sokka (Avatar), Zuko (Avatar), Azula (Avatar), Katara (Avatar), Aang (Avatar), The Gaang (Avatar), Toph Beifong, Yue (Avatar), Iroh (Avatar), Ursa (Avatar), Ozai (Avatar), Hakoda (Avatar), Kya (Avatar), Lu Ten Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe - Soulmates, Soulmates, Soul Bond, Spirits, Spiritbending & Spiritbenders (Avatar), Protective Sokka (Avatar), Zuko is an Awkward Turtleduck, Autistic Zuko (Avatar), Friends to Lovers, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Azula (Avatar) Redemption, Stimming, Autism, forced repression of stimming, Ableism, Ozai (Avatar) Being a Terrible Parent, Angst, Angst with a Happy Ending, Miscommunication, Doubt, Self-Doubt, Physical Abuse, Protective Zuko (Avatar), Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Hurt/Comfort, Deception, Fate & Destiny, Confrontations, Arguing, Choices, Confessions, Confusion, Communication, Slow Burn, Eventual Romance, Eventual Happy Ending, Happy Ending, Homophobia, Racism, Only a little of those two Summary:
Sokka and Zuko are soulmates.
Because of this from the time they are small the spirits take them to visit each other. No one else can see the spirit version of the other but it doesn't take much for the two to become friends.
But with their countries divided by war Zuko has to decide where his loyalties really are and maybe save not only his soulmate but his nation and his family from his father.
Sokka has to decide how exactly he feels about Zuko and come to terms with how much the spirit world likes him.
But they can do it together.
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androidemotions · a year ago
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he returned so its time for more neurodivergent gaang !!
Zuko
adhd/autistic? yes.
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[ID: a screenshot of Mai and Zuko standing next to each other. Zuko is wearing his royal Fire Nation robes with his hair down and bangs hanging in his face, while Mai wears her usual outfit. Zuko looks perturbed as he furrows his brow, frowning down at something, and beside him Mai looks unhappy with her mouth open and down-turned as she says something. End ID.]
- impulsive: yes. we all know it, we all watched the same show. so zuko is the kind of person whos really reserved about shit but as soon as smth crosses his mind he cant let it go, he spent like months being completely broke so he refuses to buy himself anything or accept other ppl buying him stuff until he gets some impulse and then hes buying eighteen boxes of his fav snacks all at once. he also really struggles with volume control and end up yelling way more than he means to. this makes people see him as kinda intimidating but he really doesnt mean to be.
- moral code, he has a really strong moral code but he also internalized everything he’s taught very literally when he was young, so like when he was a kid and the adults around him had these morals and rules they give to kids, just stuff like ‘cuss words are bad’ he took it SO seriously, and always felt betrayed if any of the adults around him broke those rules because they said that’s bad!!!! as he gets older he absolutely get to a point of being like, “fuck it” about everything but for a long as time he was literally the biggest goody two shoes, rule follower nerd. he really starts saying fuck it once he realizes the adults around him don’t know shit and that so much of the stuff they said mattered actually doesnt at all and he’s really really angry just in all directions about all of this
- mood swings, his trauma along with his adhd/autism means he really really struggles with regulating his moods, and often flies off the handle when hes angry, and then he feels really guilty about flying off the handle and gets SUPER depressed about it. he tends to struggle the most with those, his guilt and anger. But he also does have mood swings up, and gets weirdly happy sometimes and can’t stop laughing/smiling, which always confuses him and often times the crash back into depression can really hurt him with those
- memory, his memory is so shit <3, he cannot remember your name, sorry. what was that thing he learned in school yesterday? when was that appointment again? he really really struggles with schedules and outside help really benefits him in this area even tho he’s like hellbent on doing everything on his own, similarly to toph he has issues with relying on ppl so it takes a while for him to accept help with stuff. but when he does hes like, wow holy shit this is so much better.
- interacting w/ ppl, he scripts!!! practices so many of his conversations beforehand bc he really struggles with catching social cues in the moment so he has to think it thru in preparation, ESPECIALLY for ppl he doesnt know!!! if he hasnt got the chance to script it is really really easy for him to come off as rude bc hes very impulsive and brusque with his words. but its like, if he knows the rules he can play by them, so he he’s much better in v formal situations vs casual ones, because he knows how to be like stiffly polite but as soon as ppl want him to just like.... chat he’s at a loss.
as a bonus im including mai in zuko’s post bc i love her <3
Mai
adhd/autism 💜
- expression, got really really shut down as a kid so she really struggled with being open around ppl, and she keeps to herself as much as she can bc she finds that way way easier than trying to parse the fucking impossible interactions with everyone around her.
- stims!!!!!! she stims with objects most of the time (typically her knives) spinning them on her finger, fiddling with them, tossing them. dont worry, she’s very good at first aid. She doesn’t fidget around ppl much because her mother really hated that and so she mostly stims out of sight, but she taps her foot/bounces her leg when she’s feeling more relaxed and carefully and quietly stims more with her hands if she feels like she needs her guard up.
- special interests, throwing knives!!! she also likes caring for hair, taking care of her own and other ppls (like ty lee’s 💕)
- sensations, she likes being outside, despite claims of hating the world she doesn’t like being cooped up and enjoys running around in the woods way more than spending all day inside. the main problem is she really hates being dirty and not immediately being able to clean herself, the feeling of dirt/residue on her skin really irritates her and sets her on edge. which is why she sometimes avoids going out despite enjoying it a lot. She also doesnt like bright colors bc they tend to overstimulate her, so she always goes for muted/dark tones, also she just likes them and thinks they’re stylish. she has a lot of opinions about aesthetics but she’s used to keeping them to herself, but with ty lee and zuko she’s a lot more likely to voice her opinion
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[ID: a cropped screenshot of Zuko, he’s holding up the Sun Warrior egg in his hands and looking at the veiwer with a perturbed expression, a small frown on his face. The text on the image says, “This post made by ADHD Zuko gang.” End ID.]
badge by @meteor-sword​
rest of the gaang: Sokka & Katara, Aang, and Toph
i dont have a post for suki written already so idk when ill do her but i do have a few thoughts !
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working-dreamer · 3 years ago
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Journal of A Working Dreamer #5: Disabled Characters in Media
Every time I see a post or someone fighting for more representation for disabilities in media, I get so torn. 
On one hand, there are a million of unsung voices represented in media because there seems to be a lack of movies/books/shows with a disabled character in the forefront.
But on the other hand, I think about the different kinds of disabilities and notice how certain tropes are attributed to disabled characters depending on the disability. For example, if a character has a physical need they are rarely in the forefront of their story. On one hand they represent the heart of the story being told when they are included, but outside of the surface level of acknowledgement, most disabilities are barely mentioned before being hand-waved away to make room for the plot. Think Crutchie from Newsies. It’s obvious the boy is crippled (his nickname is Crutchie for crying out loud), but outside of his shortcomings because of his disability (he can’t run away from the cops and becomes damsel-ed) there’s really not much to Crutchie. Yes he represents the emotional core of the story, but his disability seems to be the only defining part of the character. 
And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People tend to be more sympathetic to the helpless which can invest an audience. But in real life people with disabilities have proven to live independently and frankly a lot of them don’t like the helpless stereotype. I’ve noticed that to advert the ‘helpless trope,’ there are a surprising amount of plot-twist villains that get their motivations from a disability they or someone close to them have. Which can equally be considered a bad move if you’re not careful. With all this in mind, what trope should be applied to flesh out a disabled character? 
Well, making him/her arguably the strongest character in the series/movie/book is one option. Take Toph from Avatar for example. She is blind and while that would be a complex situation with many different kind of challenges to face in real life, in the show it really doesn’t seem to affect her much. She is arguably the strongest character and the most adaptive by always cracking jokes and developing a new way of seeing the world with her rock-bending. But the problem is like the rest of the cast, sometimes it’s easy to forget that she’s blind. Part of the reason why I think Sokka is always forgetting that fact is because he’s a surrogate for the audience. Since it’s a physical disability that’s hard to draw in a way to stand out, a character has to mention her disability so the audience won’t forget about it. And while I love Toph and think she is one of the rare occasions on how to make a three dimensional disabled character, I feel like more can be done to show a disability and its effects rather than giving the audience a direct reminder every few episodes or so. 
On the flip side, there seems to be some prominent issues in portraying mentally disabled characters in media. On one hand most films get the drama and the hardships of mental disabilities right, but on the other hand they also produce the ‘Best Movie I Never Want To See Again’ effect. Where a movie focuses on the hardships of mental disabilities so well that it hits too close to home for families who actually go through similar situations. Thus it brings forth the raw emotion, but so much so that the film becomes a film you need to watch if you want to cry instead of a film that properly represents life with mental disabilities. Like, you can’t pay me to watch ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ or even ‘Forrest Gump’ because some of those moments within the film hit too close to home and since my life is dramatic enough with the emotional problems I see my brother face, I don’t need that scar to tear open again. And shoot, there’s a movie called, Tru Confessions done by Disney Channel of all things and I can’t watch that one at all. I’ve only lasted a few scenes before I turned that sucker off. Like, as a sister to a person mentally disabled, I went through denial and mourning about my brother’s condition growing up and there was a scene that was almost a word for word to a real conversation I had with a bully who tormented my brother. I had to turn it off. It wreaked me for a month.
So overall it feels like disabled characters are either the forefront of a depressing story that families in similar situations can’t watch or the disability is casually mentioned without delving into the situations at all. Which again, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’d be cool to create more characters who don’t fall under these two categories.
The only movie that I’m aware of which subverts these tropes regarding disability is The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo is physically and mentally disabled and because he lives in a time where both would be severely looked down on, the entire plot focuses on the challenges he faces in a realistic way. For example, I’ve always been slightly uneasy as a child when I watched the Topsy Turvy scene when everyone is celebrating Quasi being crowned King of Fools. Not even the scene where he’s being beat up, but the moment before when they are leading him in the parade. Because I’ve always seen the hint of malice in their actions. Yes they are carrying him around and celebrating, but the lyrics on that moment is ‘It’s the day that we do the things that we deplore on the other 364.’ So celebrating him and praising him is something they actually don’t want to do. If anything, they are enjoying the hunchback as a spectacle instead of a person. Which is an actual thing that some people unknowingly do. I once caught a girl putting salt and mayonnaise in my brother’s drink and telling him to drink it. Because he is so trusting, he did it and she and her friends were laughing at his grossed out reactions. Yet when I stepped in and made them stop, they were genuinely confused because they didn’t think they were being cruel. They didn’t understand that my brother was simple minded and didn’t know why he couldn’t just say no. He could barely process that they were being mean to him, much less defend himself. So while I don’t think the gypsies in the film meant any harm (it was more the general public that really harmed Quasi) they did treat him as entertainment instead of a person which is something I’m glad a Disney film could show to kids and say “Hey this isn’t okay. Don’t do this kids!”
But what’s great about the movie is that it shows these situations without being depressing! Sure it has a bunch of dark themes and scary imagery, yet I feel more comfortable watching that movie again instead of the others previously mentioned. Yes Quasi’s disabilities are in the forefront of the plot, but we see him actively live with it in negative and positive ways. He is too trusting of the world around him at first, but it was that trust that helped him meet Esmeralda. He was deeply hurt by the crowds, but he was still brave to go outside again to warn the gypsies of danger. He didn’t get the girl at the end, but he becomes the better man by stepping aside and being genuinely happy for her. His disability is prominent in the movie, but that’s not all that there is to him. It doesn’t project Quasi as a disabled character for the sake of a disabled character, but it uses his situations to present a much bigger story that he proudly carries. We are never told that he is mentally disabled either, but if you know someone with mental disabilities like autism or cerebral palsy, you can tell that he has something along those lines by the way he talks, moves, and even how he thinks (regarding to love). Shoot the broadway musical downright confirms it and it almost falls for the ‘Best Movie I Never Want To See Again’ effect because of the depressing things they added in, but thankfully they added a bunch of heartwarming things too to balance it out. (’Sitting On Top Of The World’ is my favorite scene in the whole musical. The feels are strong.)
Also can we talk about the ending of the film? I know most people think Esmeralda should have ended up with Quasimodo because of all the sacrifices he did for her, but I’d almost argue that the movie’s ending is more accurate given the context of the film. See throughout the movie, Quasi hasn’t had much interaction with anyone outside of his family, so when one girl gives him any amount of kindness he runs with it and thinks it’s love. Again, I’m using my brother for comparison but a friend’s nickname for him was ‘honey’ and ‘sweetheart’. No big deal, but as they grew older she jokingly said that they were gonna get married one day because he was so nice to her. Now she didn’t mean it in any way, but my brother took that at face value and was devastated to get a wedding invitation ten years later from her. She was getting married to another man. He cried and cried because ‘She said she was going to marry me! Did I do something wrong? Does she not like me anymore?’ He didn’t comprehend that it was just sweet talk. To him it was real and it broke my heart to see him so depressed.
Now, while Esmeralda never mentioned liking Quasi romantically and was just being really nice, Quasi interpreted that she loved him and he could be with her one day. So it’s generally depressing to know he is getting his heart broken when she picks Phoebes. But Esmeralda never really considered Quasi romantically so it was never about who she’d choose. But it’s unfortunate that Quasi had to go through that heartbreak overall.
Now, I’m not saying that the mentally disabled can’t get married or anything like that. But I feel like the movie more accurately reflects how painfully easy it is for someone with severe mental disabilities can go through heartbreak. It may not apply to everyone, but it does apply to some. Now of course Quasi doesn’t represent all mentally disabled characters, but he does reflect situations that some people with mental disabilities go through. 
But again the movie has fair share of happiness and sadness to it. Even though he didn’t get the girl, the movie did end with the fact that Quasi is going to live a happy life (much less depressing than the book). The movie still highlighted the joy and sorrow a disabled character can go through based on their unique situations. Yet it’s not emotionally draining by the end of the movie and I can enjoy it again and again. There’s a balance to making a disabled character without making the whole movie depressing and I feel like it would be cool if more movies took this approach. You can have people who relate to it still able to watch it while teaching others about situations they might not know about otherwise. The Hunchback of Notre Dame does this balance well in my opinion. And I’m glad for that.
TL;DR
There are a looooot of different ways a disabled character can be written, there are risks and rewards on the way you do it depending on the story you tell, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame is my baby.
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