FIFTEEN-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger syndrome (AS) and although the style of the murder mystery he has written is at times idiosyncratic, if not peculiar, we come to see that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows the trajectory of the classic hero’s journey.
In fact, high achievers such as W. B. Yeats, Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton are all speculated to have been affected by AS, while Bill Gates and Woody Allen also rate a mention on many of the internet’s Asperger support sites.
According to the Asperger Syndrome Support Network, AS is a complex brain disorder that lies within the autism spectrum.
“Common characteristics for sufferers can include a lack of empathy with others, difficulty forming relationships, engaging in one-sided conversations and often becoming intensely absorbed with a special interest.
“People with AS can participate in repetitive activities and are resistant to change, coping best when life is predictable. They may appear non-compliant as they have difficulty taking direction and coping with negative feedback.”
And yet Christopher’s creator, author Mark Haddon, is quick to point out that after several years working with adults and children with a variety of physical and mental challenges he firmly believes that “people with Asperger are as diverse a group as Belgians or trumpet players or train drivers”.