I came across a fan theory about Michael Myers that states him being autistic. I've been diagnosed with ASD(autism spectrum disorder) myself, so this theory caught my attention. I don't see autism as an only explanation since it's really rare to meet an autistic person with homicidal tendencies. In my last essay, I wrote about Michael's psychopathy, which would be more logical than autism. Besides, psychopathy does not occur with ASD, but both of these disorders share similarities. Some scientists even describe them as cousins.
What makes some fans think Michael is autistic then? Here's my interpretation of his autistic traits. First of all, he lacks verbal communication. Regressive autism, which means a typically developing child starts to lose speech and social skills, could be a reason for this. Selective mutism is a possibility too: a child stops speaking in certain places or with certain people. This is often due to social anxiety, but mutism is more common in the autism spectrum for other reasons. In Halloween 2018, Dr Sartain says that Michael can speak but chooses not to. I believe it's because he lacks both the energy and motivation to do so. Autists comprehend language uniquely: getting the meaning between the lines is a struggle for most. We tend to understand words literally and, for some at least, can't grasp the idea of abstract things (e.g. love, death, humanity...). Going fully mute saves Michael's mental energy that would be used to communicate.
Studies have also discovered decreased social motivation in general in autism. Socialising isn't as rewarding to autistic people than it is to neurotypicals. This is related to lack of Theory of mind, which is an ability to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own. Without this ability, the person may come off self-centred and unempathetic. In Michael's case, his Theory of mind could be nonexistent mixed with a severe lack of social motivation and selective mutism, along with speech problems.
Second of all, Michael has repetitive behaviours and seems to have poor motor skills. He wears the same mask, uses the same overalls and chooses the same kitchen knife. Even his hunting strategy has a repetitive pattern: observe, stalk, hide, murder. He goes on a killing spree only on Halloween and not on any other day. Routines are important for autistic people: without them, we cannot function. They give great joy and unexpected changes in them easily upset us. Michael is shown to act catatonic whenever he's in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Because he has just one purpose in his life, he spends most of his time waiting for Halloween, the only meaningful day (or routine) that keeps him active.
Oddly, Michael doesn't run. His movements, in general, are slow - yet he is a fit man. Poor motor skills cause clumsiness and can affect body coordination. The reason for Michael's slowness could be a conscious one. Every time he is forced to rush, he is more prone to failure, and he probably knows this. Taking his time lets him adjust to his surroundings. It's nothing uncommon for autistic people to hit objects and walk against tables and chairs by accident. Sometimes it does happen to me as well and that's because I don't always see the distance between my body and the obstacle.
Alexithymia, a difficulty identifying and expressing emotions, is a personality trait which is proven to occur in personality disorders, in some mental illnesses, and ASD. It is also a spectrum and more common in males than in females. People with alexithymia appear emotionless and prefer logical thinking over emotional thinking. They may have poor life satisfaction and limited ability to fantasise. Opening up about emotions is either hard or impossible depending on how severy their alexithymia is. Michael is an extreme example: he is described to be empty, a shell of a man. His emotional intelligence is possibly at the lowest level. Alexithymia could be one of the reasons why ASD and psychopathy look similar, and why Michael's indifferent behaviour seems autistic. But alexithymia does not mean the person is unable to feel despite not showing it on their face. And since Michael doesn't want to communicate at all, no one can tell if he is feeling something inside or not. The mask makes this even more challenging but that's the point of his character.
My conclusion to this fan theory: I get where the idea comes from, and I do find it fascinating, but it has too many flaws. As I said, autistic murderers are a rarity, and Michael Myers is a brutal killing machine who seems to be aware of this fact. Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre could be a better option for this theory since both autism and mental retardation can occur in an individual at the same time. But either way, I know some people might find these kinds of speculations offending. I'm not one of them because these are fictional characters who break the rules of logic in their movies anyway. To me, to be allowed to speak about the ugly side of the autism spectrum is as important as bringing up the good side of it.