The books “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”, “The Speed of Darkness”, “Reasonable People”, and “Songs of the Gorilla Nation” all surround the topic of autism and use character representations to exemplify people with autism. However, each book does so in a different way– and follows a different set of stereotypes. I think that in reading one book alone, someone would have less benefit than our class did when we read them all together. I also think that, as a reader, I am able to recognize the sets of stereotypes because my reading was aided with intensive study and discussion about the matter in class. I feel that if I were not applying and discussing the different trends of stereotypes that I saw in the books, I might be more apt to believe them as true. I think that these books very well have the possibility to create and perpetuate certain stereotypes about people with autism. For example, someone who just reads “Reasonable People” might assume from the severe negativity of DJ’s parental treatment was the cause of his autism, therefore leading to the belief of the “cold mother” idea as a form of causality for autism spectrum disorders.
I would recommend “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” is definitely a must-read. I believe it is important as a young-adult novel because it introduces autism spectrum disorders to a younger audience, which I believe is crucial to encourage acceptance to future generations.