:) asked:

Did this book make you guys think about autism and mental health in the world?

Kristine Autism and Asperger's are not mental illnesses. They are development disorders. Seems important to make that distinction whenever possible:)
Kamila Z More Aspergers syndrome and it's not a mental health condition!
Kerri The book is inaccurate to what mental health issues are like in the real world. It perpetuates stereo types of autistic people. People with autism don't have jumbled thoughts like the protagonist does in the story. They just have trouble communicating their thoughts. Also an autistic boy wouldn't just randomly hit a police men, he would display signs of aggression first or curl up in a ball. In addition to this people with autism do not generally have random infatuations with random things such as prime numbers. They may have one core interest that is all they can think about, but they don't just like prime numbers for no reason. I don't know how much experience the author has with people with mental health issues but In my opinion the books representation thus far has been inaccurate.
Leo Walsh Indeed. I am still reading it, but find it captivating. As a math nerd and who-dun-it fan, I loved his obsession with numbers. And he reminded me of some of the REAL math and physical sciences geniuses that were in my classes at university.

But my real connection to Christopher came when I realized how autism "works." He had to play detective for things we take for granted. For instance, he missed obvious social cues about his mother having an affair. And he goes through long chains of reasoning about facial expressions and voice tone that the rest of us suimply "know."

Even more interesting, he's going through a typical adolescence without mental wiring we take for granted.

I wanted him to grow up. To succeed. To have a full life. And I was impressed by his adherence to facts and honesty above all else. Noble traits despite his "lacks."
Mark Wilson Considering I have Asperger's from what I was told, I will say this book did get the perspective fine enough. However, I can't say I came out of the book in the manner you described where I would be thinking about autism and mental health in the real world. Rather, I came out questioning "is this what I'm really like" when I thought of all the condescending things I have read in the book.
linda eastwood of course as a disability worker I know from experience that autism can be an amazing gift....I mean that it's not an easy life but wow some of the best people I have ever met have autism.
Judy This book showed in a very real way how difficult the communication between autistic people and non-autistic people is. It should be required reading for anyone who works with the public (and hence has a greater possibility of interacting with someone with Autism). It highlighted all of the ways our assumptions and verbal short-hand are confusing. It was an excellent book.
Anouck To all people in the comments saying Asperger's isn't a disorder or a mental health problem: It is. I have it and I've been in therapy many times as a result of it. I understand it all comes from a good place but denying what Asperger's is actually helps no one. I wish people would understand you can respect and value autistic people without pretending it's this identity accessory with no downsides or psychological impact whatsoever.
Y. L In short - yes, it did. It didn't take me long to figure out that there is a wide spectrum for the severity and response of a person when he/she has Autism and to take Christopher's character/behaviour and to drape it over every other person diagnosed with Autism does not do the individual nor the disorder (but perhaps there is a better suited word that I cannot think of at the moment) any benefit. The book does however expose the difficulties of having Autism, and it definitely gives perspective on the need to be more empathetic and patient with Autistic individuals.

I do not think that being Autistic makes you "disabled" per se. It does hinder you from carrying out what other people might consider "normal every day activities" (some people are afraid of heights; or have stage-fright; or a lisp etc. and this affect their life decisions to an extent) but it should really be a prompt for society to treat each person accordingly rather than stereotype people into "normal" and "not normal" categories. Guilty of being a bit of an idealist (;
Emily Murphy Yes. It a trip inside Christopher's mind and gave the reader an idea what it is like to live with autism/aspergers. It also provided insight into the lives of parents of autistic/asperger children. I didn't think so much about mental health because I'm not sure if this syndrome is actually an issue of mental health.
Rita As a 75 year old who was married for 17 years to an intelligent man with massive difficulties communicating with me, his children, grandchildren, relatives, neighbours and me in particular, this book kept bells dinging in my head. It got so difficult trying to understand where he was coming from, I was ready to end it all until I walked away and felt like a caged bird let free. I cry as I read this book because we knew nothing about Aspergers in all those years. When I walked out, he refused to speak, see or communicate with me for the rest of his life. For 35 years, he has been adamant about this despite children and grandchildren. I am sad that I was so unaware of this disorder all those years but I feel my needs were never taken care of and life was utter hell for 17 years. Understanding these individuals is important but there is another side of this story. In a time of COVID they are probably coping far better than socialized beings who have a need for empathy.
Julius Qvarnström
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Navy heart HamlinNBCT This book made me realize how far we have progressed in both Autism and Asperger and those "learning difficulties" as Mark's character, Christopher embraces can be less of a stigma with the right supports and more of a sign of hope. A single father raising a child after mom splits is awe inspiring, but the added challenge of a young male challenging both his limitations and dad makes the disorder less traumatic and far more humanistic -I fell in love with their slow journey into not only surviving divorce but each other and Christopher's insatiable appetite to communicate, grow into freedom and adulthood.
Fabiana Melo I felt scared for the boy throughout the book. I thought it was a good ending. I worked in a residential home for adults with Autism and I see some of things happening but others not so much BUT I am not going to consider myself an EXPERT on every person with autism just because I have some experience. There are many different people in this world.
Julia Completly. It opened my eyes to how autistic kids think. It fascinates and shocks me how they go through life.
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