Mark Haddon wrote a wonderful book that became a bestseller and won the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Whitbread Novel Awards. Mark Haddon himself was said to have exclaimed, “Who the hell would want to read about a fifteen-year-old boy with a disability?”
While I was writing this book. He didn’t know it was exactly the 15-year-old with a disability who made his book stand out, win awards, and become a bestseller. The book is titled “The Curious Dog Accident at Night and the Boy is Christopher”.
Christopher is an autistic sage. You can name all the countries of the world and their capitals. He has a photographic memory and a genius in mathematics and science. Despite his unusual intelligence of him, he cannot imagine, understand rhetorical figures and relate to jokes. Plus he doesn’t like places with a lot of people and people playing him. People who are autistic show common characteristics between those with autism and those with Savant syndrome. Autism is a developmental disorder within the autism spectrum disorder group. This condition is mainly characterized by a deterioration in socialization, imagination and communication. Savant syndrome is characterized by very low general intelligence but an extraordinary narrow intelligence, usually in the fields of mathematics, music, art and memorization.
In the story, Christopher’s parents are separated. Her mother has decided to leave Christopher and her father because she can no longer cope with the demands of having an autistic child. Parents who care for special children, such as those with autism, are likely to have a higher level of stress than most parents. This is mainly due to the fact that your children have special needs, unusual behaviors and different abilities than other children of the same age. These children will most likely have difficulty communicating, leading to unusual reactions. An example of this is when an autistic child cries for no apparent reason and starts hitting himself. Most likely, something made you feel upset but you can’t pass it on because you don’t know how. Some autistic children with sensory integration problems may be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to touch, pressure, movement, and sound. They will exhibit certain behaviors that are sometimes difficult to understand, such as avoiding certain types of food and drink, pinching or hitting, repetitive movements and screaming. Some of them may also show a strong adherence to certain routines and fear of new places or people. Satisfying the needs and coping with the behaviors of these children is not easy and can therefore cause a lot of stress.
Autism can severely limit a child’s world. They grow on security and anything they perceive as a threat to their security should be avoided. However, many factors, situations and demands of society make them insecure and being forced to deal with them makes them very anxious most of the time. Unconsciously and involuntarily, children with autism have a constant feeling of anxiety about everything new or foreign to their understanding. Just like in the book, when Christopher had to go beyond the familiar area of the city, he felt physically sick and scared. Unlike most children, people with autism cannot easily adapt to new environments or situations. The process of learning to understand and accept what was previously unknown leads to a higher level of anxiety.
Despite what appears to be a difficult task to adapt and cope with with autistic children, much has already been researched and published on proper management which will not only lessen children’s anxiety but also their parents’ stress. Some methods, such as cognitive behavior modification, behavior modification techniques, and environmental modification techniques, have been shown to be effective in changing inappropriate behaviors and improving the learning skills of children with autism. Some, with aggravating conditions other than autism, may require additional treatment as recommended by doctors. Autistic children who also suffer from manic depression due to their unhappiness of being involuntarily involved in their self-protective behaviors may need more therapy than mentioned above. Seeing a psychiatrist is highly recommended in this situation, and other medications may be prescribed.