I have two 90 Day Fiancé stars in mind that I think might be autistic. And they’re not the ones you think.
I’m not a doctor. With that being said, I always knew I was autistic, even though no one believed me. When I finally got tested, I got an undisputed Asperger’s diagnosis.
I also knew this guy online. I had never met him in person. I told him that based on what he had said about himself, he might have Asperger’s syndrome too. Well, he got tested, and it turned out I was right. He got Asperger’s diagnosis.
So, I am pretty good at detecting autistic traits in people I’ve never met. And that’s what I’m gonna do right now.
People look at the wrong signs when they speculate if a 90 Day Fiancé star is autistic
I don’t watch much reality TV, except for one show: 90 Day Fiancé. I’m obsessed with it!
Many people discuss online some 90 Day Fiancé stars potentially being autistic. They’re probably not. It’s easy to misinterpret signs of autism when you don’t know anything about autism. And especially when you’re not autistic yourself.
Some 90 Day Fiancé stars may come off as socially awkward because they’re not fluent in English. Or they just have quirky personalities.
However, I can spot the difficulties that an autistic person faces. People who are just shy or quirky don’t end up in those situations.
Unfortunately, people tend to think that there is something mentally “wrong” with autistic people. When they see someone on TV who seems weird, they start asking if that person is autistic. I think neurotypical people are weird too. So, whether someone is quirky or not is not a sign of autism.
Instead, I pay attention to what kind of difficulties a person has. I can easily spot the issues I faced when I didn’t know I was autistic. In 90 Day Fiancé, I pay attention to the relationship issues the people are having.
Sure, all 90 Day Fiancé stars have some sort of relationship issues. It can’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any drama. No drama, no reality TV!
The candidates I have in mind have specific issues with their partners. I had the same problems with my neurotypical exes. And no, these issues have nothing to do with cultural differences.
An undiagnosed autistic person might often look for a partner from a foreign country. When I was younger, I was obsessed with having an Asian boyfriend. I thought an Asian boyfriend would solve all my problems.
These are the two 90 Day Fiancé stars who I think might be autistic. I’ll add other 90 Day Fiancé stars to the list if and when new ones appear who might also be autistic.
Paul Staehle from Kentucky met his Brazilian wife Karine online.
Paul “had trouble building relationships with local women”. That sounds like a typical situation for an autistic person.
Paul lived in Brazil with Karine for a while. They seemed to have a stormy relationship and constant fighting was seen on TV. Apparently, the couple has recently divorced.
There are some disturbing rumors about Paul’s past. It has been reported that he was convicted of arson. That’s not typical for autistic people in any way.
I still think Paul is likely autistic. The signs are clear when you look at how he reacts to stress. A hint: Not so well.
I’m not the only one who thinks Paul might be autistic. Just have a look at this Reddit thread.
When Paul freaks out, he reacts in unusual ways. A fitting example is when Paul locked himself in a doghouse after fighting with Karine.
Here’s my interpretation: The fighting pushed Paul to the edge. He had a meltdown. As a result, he escaped into the doghouse.
I can relate to Paul’s reaction. In my “normal” state of mind, I seem like a quiet, discreet person. When I have a meltdown, I go to the nearby woods, screaming and crying at the top of my lungs.
Going to the bushes to have a meltdown seems like a perfectly normal reaction to me. I do that, and apparently, Paul does too. We’ve seen him escaping into the Brazilian forest on numerous occasions.
Karine seems to be constantly triggering Paul. As Paul says in the doghouse episode: “Poking at me, poking at me.” When you poke at an autistic person, we snap.
“I just need to calm down for a minute”, Paul comments and goes to the doghouse.
Of course, neurotypical people don’t get that. They think it’s so funny when Paul escapes into the woods. Only an autistic person understands what’s going on.
Natalie Mordovtseva from Ukraine moved to America and married Mike Youngquist. They got divorced.
I haven’t read any online threats of people suspecting Natalie might be autistic. That doesn’t surprise me. After all, Natalie is a woman, and the stereotype of an autistic person is a male. Also, Natalie doesn’t show any stereotypical autistic traits that make people think someone could be autistic.
It’s not so much Natalie herself that makes me think she might be autistic; it’s Mike. Mike acts in 90 Day Fiancé just like my neurotypical exes did with me. He blames Natalie for everything. He says Natalie doesn’t know how to communicate.
I can feel the awkwardness and lack of communication between Mike and Natalie. That’s the same stuff I struggled with in my past relationships with neurotypical exes.
And just like my neurotypical exes always blamed me, Mike accuses Natalie. It’s not the other way around. In fact, Natalie always seems to apologize to Mike for no reason. Until she has enough and leaves Mike. It’s the same old story. Neurotypical partners in NT-AS relationships blame their autistic partners for “lack of communication”.
But we don’t “lack communication” any more than the NTs. Autistic people and neurotypical people simply have different communication styles.
Natalie also has what might be a meltdown when she gets upset with Mike’s mother, Trish. At the airport, she doesn’t even say goodbye to Trish. She doesn’t even look at Mike and Trish.
Whether Natalie is autistic or not, I’m sure she’s better off without Mike.
Is Gino from 90 Day Fiance autistic?
Gino Palazzolo is one of the top 90 Day Fiance stars people think might be autistic.
Gino traveled to Panama to meet his girlfriend Jasmine Pineda in Before the 90 Days season 5.
Redditors are speculating Gino might be autistic because he has some rigid habits, such as always wearing a hat.
Gino gave Jasmine an inappropriate gift, a toothbrush. I don’t think it was a bad gift, though. Electric toothbrushes can be expensive.
Jasmine didn’t like the gift, though. She’s the kind of person who would want something romantic and personal. A toothbrush doesn’t fit the bill.
Gino has a stereotypical autistic profession; he’s an engineer. That’s one of the reasons why some people think he might be autistic.
Gino and Jasmine had a big fight when Jasmine found out Gino had sent sensitive photos about Jasmine to his ex. He had done this to brag about how hot his new girlfriend was.
A socially clueless autistic might possibly make such a mistake. But I wouldn’t say Gino’s behavior was typically autistic.
So, is Gino autistic?
Gino Palazzolo hasn’t publicly confirmed to be autistic. So, we can’t know for sure.
Do I, as an autistic person, think Gino is autistic?
I think he has some typically autistic traits, such as being upset when he needs to take his hat off. And no, not all autistic people wear a hat, but having difficulties changing a routine or habit is a typical autistic trait.
However, Gino lied to Jasmine and acted in a somewhat manipulative manner. Autistic people can lie and manipulate (just like neurotypicals can!), but lying and gaslighting are not typical autistic behavior.
So, Gino has some typically autistic traits (rigid habits, social awkwardness, anxiety). He also possesses qualities that suggest he’s NOT autistic (lying and manipulating).
Considering available data, I think Gino could possibly be autistic, but he’s probably not.
Is Cleo from 90 Day Fiance autistic?
Cleo from 90 Day Fiancé is the first person in the show who has said they’re autistic. So Cleo is the only 90-Day Fiancé star whose autism we can be certain about.
Cleo is also transgendered. She is the first transgendered woman in the series, as well as the first openly autistic person in the show.
Cleo and Christian appeared in Before the 90 Days season 6. Christian Allgood from Michigan traveled to London to meet Cleo for the first time.
Christian’s behavior in the show raised many red flags. Christian flirted with other women at bars and blamed his extraversion for his behavior.
Also, Christian didn’t consider Cleo’s autism enough. He forced her into situations that are stressful for autistic people. For example, he surprised Cleo by telling her he had invited a woman he met at a bar to their Thanksgiving dinner.
When Cleo and Christian met, they were pretty awkward in each other’s company. I always felt awkward with my neurotypical exes too. But I didn’t feel awkward at all when I met my autistic husband. Not even on our first date. And that’s despite me being a generally socially awkward person.
This is just my opinion based on my experiences, but with the right person, you don’t feel awkward.
I think Christian’s extreme extraversion made him an unsuitable partner for Cleo. Also, he seemed to have trouble handling Cleo’s autism and the fact that she’s transgendered.
October 25th, 2023, Cleo announced on her Instagram account that she and Christian are no longer together. She mentioned they broke up because keeping up a long-distance relationship while being public figures was too hard. Cleo also said in her post that she and Christian have “very different personalities and emotional needs”.
Is Devin from 90 Day Fiance autistic?
Devin Hoofman appeared in the 90 Day Fiancé season 10. Her husband Nick Ham is Korean. The couple met in Australia.
Nick said in the series that he liked the fact that Devin is an introvert like himself. Nick admitted that he had trouble even making Devin laugh.
Devin described herself as shy, quiet, and introverted. But could it be more than that? Could Devin be autistic?
I thought for a long time I was just shy, quiet, and introverted. So did everybody else. But it turned out I was autistic. So many autistic women are undiagnosed. Devin might be as well.
In the show, Devin struggles a lot in her trip to Korea. According to Nick, when Devin gets too stressed, she cries. That’s what happened when she met Nick’s parents. The pressure was too much for her.
At least Nick seemed supportive and understanding toward Devin in the situation. Maybe he can relate to Devin because he’s introverted himself.
Based on what was shown in the series, Devin doesn’t seem to like eye contact too much. That’s another autistic trait. Although many autistic people learn to mask and make eye contact, even though most of us hate it.
Some people have mocked Devin for speaking slowly. Devin replied to the critics by saying she has always been someone who “speaks in a relaxed manner”.
But speaking slowly or with an accent is another autistic trait. I’ve always spoken slowly because I need to process what I’m saying and what the other person is saying.
Verbal communication takes so much processing for me that I can’t speak fast. Probably some people think I’m “slow” or less intelligent because of that, which is disappointing. The same thing seems to be happening to Devin.
Devin also has an illness called temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). She was unmedicated while filming 90 Day Fiancé which resulted in pain and weight gain. She also says she was exhausted because they had to film the show in the middle of the night.
So many factors contribute to how Devin appeared while filming 90 Day Fiancé.
However as an autistic person, I think Devin has many autistic traits. Yes, I think she might be autistic.
The signs of autism in these 90 Day Fiancé stars are clear
I’m not qualified to give online diagnoses (Is anyone, though? Even doctors need to see a patient in order to make a diagnosis).
Nevertheless, I spot signs of autism in Paul Staehle and Natalie Mordovtseva. Their relationship problems in 90 Day Fiancé are hints of their potential autism. Especially Natalie’s relationship with Mike reminds me of my issues with my neurotypical exes.
You might say it’s somewhat problematic to speculate on potential diagnoses of reality TV stars. After all, they’re not fictional characters but real people.
I’m not claiming to know the truth about their potential autism. However, there is something so relatable about the relationship issues that Paul and Natalie face. That makes me think, what if?
Do you think some 90 Day Fiancé stars might be autistic? Who and why? Please share in the comments!