The novel, "The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time", by Mark Haddon, explores the life of one particular young man (Christopher) with Aspergers (a form of autism. Read a review of the book here). Although Christopher does demonstrate some genius, I like that the book (& the award winning play) also show some of the struggles he faces. This story is fictional, but it is clear that the author has put much time and energy into trying to understand some of the aspects of autism that make it "what it is", and shows us this through the eyes of young Christopher.
Even if you're not "into" theatre, the video clip below that shows some of the background work that went into the play is very educational regarding the inner workings of a mind with autism.
The book, as well as the play, follow Christopher as he becomes an amateur detective of sorts, following the murder of his neighbours' dog. I found the book interesting on a personal level because Christopher, who is approached by a policeman investigating the dogs' murder, touches him, and Christopher reacts by hitting him. My son, Caleb, who has autism, struggles with this very same problem of not being able to process unsolicited or surprising touch, and has to touch back to relieve whatever it is his body is going through as a reaction to being touched. We're really struggling with breaking this habit, as he sometimes chases people down to touch them back, and can become very angry in the process.
Themes explored in the book and play include coping with loss, feelings of value and safety, understanding that chaos is naturally present in daily life (and trying to create order in that chaos), the importance of identity, as well as grasping at that illusive time in life between being a child and an adult where you want to be seen as independent, but also realize how much support you still need.
Those themes I touched on are topics that reach across the entire autism spectrum, whether the individual is high functioning, or lower functioning. Caleb is now 12, and is stepping into the last theme of wanting to be independent, but still needing so much support. Allowing him more freedoms is difficult because we want to keep him safe, we want to make life a little less complicated for him, and he still requires a lot of assistance.
I will talk about autism and independence next Thursday, but for now, I just wanted to share about this book and play, and invite you to watch the video to help gain a new, better, or different understanding of autism.
The purpose in sharing about this story is because autism is so broad, and can look like so many different things. So, the more you read and become educated about it, the more you understand, and can show love, compassion, grace, patience, and support.
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Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
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