Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Dungeons and Dragons is Autistic (Episode 39)

Dungeons and Dragons is Autistic (Episode 39)

Stop drop and roll-for-initiative! Why Autistics love D&D and how it helps us to engage, regulate, and experience Autistic joy.
Autistic hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria and Matt Lowry, LPP, discuss Dungeons and dragons is autistic
A: First year I played was like 1985. M: Oh, yeah. A: And my mom was 100% sure it’s a satanic cult. M: Yeah.

Dr. Angela Lauria and Matt Lowry, LPP discuss how tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons appeal to many autistic people due to the game’s intricate rule systems, statistics, and logic. D&D allows autistics to socialize with confidence in a structured, inclusive environment of shared world-building.

They explain how D&D provides a space for Autistic strengths like monotropic focus, special interests, pattern recognition, and world-building to take center stage. The design of the game encourages players to embrace differences rather than mask them, including a recent introduction of a canonically Autistic character!

Historic moral panics around D&D are highlighted as examples of misunderstandings and ableism towards autistic interests. The hosts see the game's recent mainstream popularity as a shift towards acceptance.

“Because of ableists in society, anything we do is inherently wrong because we are not like them and we don't do the things that they do. And they are going to find reasons to criticize anything we do for us being different from them.” —Matt

They note famous examples of D&D's popularity in media, including the show Stranger Things. The character-building and communal storytelling aspects of the game—which play to Autistic strengths—are emphasized.

“I am a non-fiction reader and a big part of why…is I don't have a picture-things-in-your-mind's-eye gene, and a lot of fiction sort of requires—to enjoy it—that you can imagine the scene. So for me, one of the things I've always liked about D&D is you can say to your—especially if you have a good DM—'What is that? Tell me more about that feature, that trait, or that thing.’” —Angela

The podcast hosts conclude D&D allows autistics to socialize and build community safely and effectively. Families of autistic individuals can better understand intense interests in gaming as tools for connection. There is great value in embracing neurodiversity.

Who’s your character in D&D? Do you have a multi-year game going?

Related episodes…Want to learn about more Autistic activities popular among children and adults? Episodes 16: Pokémon is Autistic and Episode 31: Chess is Autistic

Ready for a paradigm shift that empowers Autistics? Help spread the news!


autistic podcast merchautistic podcast merchautistic podcast merch
Get these designs and more in our merch shop! (link above)
Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit