This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Amanda Keats is a writer and contributor for Novelicious, and loves discussing the books versus films debate, giving us a regular rundown of any adaptations about to hit the big screen. She's also an aspiring novelist and has just finished the book she hopes will catch somebody's eye. Today Amanda tells us why she thinks The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time should be compulsory reading – for everyone.
Autism is a disability people seem to only understand if they have come into direct contact with it. It’s not so easy to spot. There are no visible signs that a person has it. To the casual observer, the ticks and the social awkwardness of an autistic person could just be signs that a person is shy, overly sensitive or perhaps suffering from mental health issues. The spectrum is vast too. Some are high-functioning, very smart and capable individuals who struggle to handle noisy, busy environments whilst others – at the opposite end of the spectrum – cannot speak, struggle to communicate and have no safety awareness.
Of course, I knew none of this before reading The Curious Incident. I knew nothing of what it is like to be in the mind of someone battling with autism. I have since gone on to work in a respite care home and encountered numerous severely autistic teenagers: some who can speak, others who cannot. I truly believe that a book like The Curious Incident should be compulsory reading for everyone on the planet. It is eye-opening and breaks down the barriers between autistic people and the rest of the world. It just so happens to also be a beautifully written and enjoyable story.