Straight from the book – Was Yosef on the Spectrum

“Pharaoh realizes that, given Yosef’s self-absorption, his lack of social skills, and his inability to navigate social challenges, Yosef is vulnerable to the maneuverings of those who are more clever, cunning, and calculating. Pharaoh has maintained power through shrewd utilization of his formidable political savvy, but Yosef is particularly ill-suited to deal with the bare-knuckled world of politics and the sharks who will be looking for every opportunity to hurt him – and possibly, by extension, cause harm to Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh preempts these threats by giving Yosef a new and honorable name – and with it a new persona – as well as a wife, who can help protect him from the attacks and advances of others. Significantly, Pharaoh selects a woman who is from a distinguished family – possibly the family of Potiphar – who not only bestows further honor on Yosef by virtue of her pedigree, but who is presumably familiar with the intrigue and machinations of royal politics, and along with her family will be able to anticipate and help ward off challenges to Yosef.  With these in place, Yosef is finally safe to go out on his own, leaving the protective watch of Pharaoh and traveling throughout the Land of Egypt.  

It is not uncommon for individuals with disabilities, once they receive the appropriate services, structure, and supports, to be able to exercise the talents they possess and achieve the goals that would otherwise continue to elude them. As Pharaoh recognizes, like many who are on the spectrum, Yosef’s deficits are in areas relating to social expectations and interactions. To accommodate these deficits, Pharaoh provides Yosef with dignified clothes, an honorable name, servants, and a wife to protect him and help him navigate his social surrounding. Unencumbered by these external concerns, Yosef is now free to focus on his areas of strength, traveling throughout the Land of Egypt to construct and implement his masterful plan. Again, Pharaoh appears to take a more effective course of action than Yaakov, who had similarly attempted to develop Yosef’s talents…”

-excerpted from Was Yosef on the Spectrum

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