For those mature 8th or 9th graders looking for a light read, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an exciting mystery from a first-person angle of a humorous fifteen-year-old autistic British boy named Christopher.
Although the chapters may be a bit confusing because of a slightly unique twist to the chapter numbering and Christopher’s mind wandering, I learned a lot about the neurological effects of autism and Asperger's Syndrome (a mild form of autism), and I bet you will too.
Here’s an acrostic poem based on what I learned, and I hope we can all be more sensitive and understanding for those who think and socialize differently.
Understanding Autism (ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder)
A Always physically moving, typically with repeating motions (called “stimming” for stimulation)
U Unusually observant of details & seeks logical order in everything
T Taught to recognize or understand their own and other’s complex emotions; slow to trust people or adapt to changes
I Interested in concrete facts and figures in their field of interest rather than intangible, conceptual ideas like abstract metaphors or idioms
S Socially uncomfortable and blunt (dislikes lying/joking) uneasy communicating, avoids eye contact; may dislike physical contact
M Males are 4-5 times more likely to be diagnosed; lifetime condition