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The Neurodivergent Time Lord: A Doctor Who Autistic Headcanon

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First Doctor

One, having been alive for centuries, is mistrustful, wary and difficult to befriend – in fact, he acts like a person sick to death of neurotypicals. He is blunt, stubborn and often comes across as rude, but is actually a very nice person once you get to know him.

  • Stimming: He has his hands on his lapels almost constantly, and taps his thumbs against them when he is talking. One’s hands move a lot when he speaks, often flailing or tapping against his lapels. He also verbally stims by saying the same phrases repeatedly, such as “my boy” and “hmm”.
  • Communication: He trips his words up all the time when he speaks, which appears to be a problem with verbal communication. He also messes up Ian’s surname constantly in conversation. One may be semi-verbal, and so struggles with speech when he could more easily communicate another way. His verbal stimming (as mentioned above), many also be a manifestation of echolalia.
  • Social Issues: One is extremely difficult to have a conversation with, appearing as rude when talking, apparently by accident.



  • An Unearthly Child: the Doctor is very snappy and rude with Ian and Barbara. He doesn’t seem to know how to be socially appropriate with them, leaving him appearing very antisocial and rude.
  • The Daleks: the Doctor is fascinated by the abandoned city, and is determined to go and see it, to the point he puts himself and the others in danger.
  • The Romans: upon discovering that he accidentally inspired Nero to burn down Rome, the Doctor starts giggling. This is a rather inappropriate emotional response, something that many autistic people struggle with.