A link symbol  Originally written on April 20, 2022, with the help of @finaIspace on Twitter

– So, one of the first things we’re introduced to with Gary’s character is the fact that he sends Quinn video messages every single day; each day, mind you, for a period of five years of imprisonment.

Autistic people tend to prefer repetition and sameness. Routine comes naturally to us, and is very comforting! It can be distressing, as well, to step out of the routine… Which may be why, after Quinn is on the ship with him and, thus, doesn’t need video messages, Gary continues to make them; this time addressing them to Avocato.

Speaking of routines… Well, I’m sure that everyone familiar with the show is equally as familiar with the running gag that Gary really loves cookies. They’re used as a reward for him aboard the ship, and, when counting down to what he assumes will be his demise, he instead thinks of it as waiting for cookies. It’s a trait that is kept for his character in both serious and silly moments. This, too, could fall into a routine. Autistic people tend to eat the same thing, and fixate on eating for days, months, weeks, or, in Gary’s case (if we’re going off the fact that cookies have been used for a reward since he got onto the ship), years. The autistic community has given the tendency to do this a name; with the food that they focus on being called their ‘samefood’. Needless to say, I think cookies are a samefood for Gary.

– Autistic people talk funny! In more ways than one. And Gary tends to talk funny! In more ways than one! Many of the ways that he does happening to line up with autistic traits. So, let’s go over it all, shall we?

Gary tends to ramble a lot; seemingly talking inadvertently. Gary refers to this tendency as ‘word-arrhea’, which, upon looking into it, seems to be him referencing, but not knowing the exact word for, logorrhea; a communication disorder. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to assume this was intentional, given that the words are so similar, and based off of the fact that what Gary is describing is, quite literally, what logorrhea is; it’s something that causes excessive wordiness. Logorrhea can result from a large amount of disorders, with one of them being autism.

Gary also has, what the Final Space Instagram has lovingly dubbed ‘Gary-isms’; phrases that Gary tends to repeat, which reflects the autistic tendency to repeat speech patterns.

Gary also has a tendency to lose control of his voice’s tone and volume when he’s very excited. This is extremely common in more ‘hyperactive’ autistic people; we get so excited that we forget to keep our voices in check! This is something that Gary reflects to a T.

He also just generally talks, for lack of a better word, a bit odd, with an abnormal speech prosody common in autistic people. This is the most evident in the pilot, but his odd way of speaking is also present throughout the actual show itself; typically used for comedic effect.

– Who plays cards for nine hours EXCEPT for an autistic person? Yeah. Exactly.

… Okay, for serious, though. I’m sure that you’ve heard of hyperfocus (an intense, unflinching focus on a task or thing) in terms of it being an ADHD symptom before. However, it is also considered a symptom of other disorders; including schizophrenia, and, of course, autism.

Special interests are in a similar vein to hyperfocus; it’s an incredibly intense fixation on something, whether it be a concept, media, or topic. And, while we don’t get to see as much of Gary during his childhood, we do get to see his treehouse, which has posters of both space-related things (presumably because of his father soon going on a trip to space) as well as things related to bugs, and a collection of insects. Gary’s interest in bugs, we can assume, is why his father gave him a bug in the first place.

– Autistic people tend to be awful at nonverbal signals. We have issues reading people, and picking up on social cues; we tend to thrive best in social situations when someone is being very verbally direct.

And... Well, in Gary's own words (directly quoting here), "I'm here for you if you need me. But you must verbally let me know. Because I am terrible... TERRIBLE at signals!"

Gary also says that people on Reddit think he’s annoying. Which is, of course, a silly little joke. However, he also tends to annoy people in the show, as well. And (forgive my bluntness) it’s just common for autistic people to be considered ‘annoying’. I mean, ask someone what they think annoying traits are, and what will they say? Not being able to take a hint, bad social skills, a weird way of talking, talking too much or too little, uncontrolled volume… The simple fact is that allistics (people that aren’t autistic) just think autistic people are annoying and weird. This is why, you may note, characters that are intentionally written to be ‘annoying and weird’ tend to be extremely autistic-coded, and Gary here is no exception.

– Impulse control can be a real challenge to autistic people; we tend to do things without thinking, and act very compulsively. And, as I’m sure you know, Gary is incredibly impulsive. Whether it’s something silly, like him trying to grab a cookie despite being warned that it would extend his prison sentence, or something serious, like the times he’s put himself in danger to protect or impress the people who he loves, Gary’s impulsivity is very prominent.

– Autistic people tend to use unusual and repetitive body movements to self-stimulate (dubbed as ‘stimming’). And let's just say this man is fucking SHMOOVING. He does excessive hand motions while speaking, flaps his hands when excited, jumps up and down while flapping his arms to hype himself up, fidgets with his fingers when nervous... This man moves so much more than necessary. That, my friends, is autistic behavior.

And that concludes our final segment! Thank you for your time.