We are all unique

25th April 2003 at 01:00
Christopher Boone is 15 years old and a gifted mathematician, but he lacks expertise when crowds or social situations are involved, writes Luke Jackson. He has all the qualities of a genius, and knows the capitals of all the major countries in the world. He can count the prime numbers all the way up to 7,057, but body language and facial expressions remain mysteries to him. That is true for me and most other people with the social and communicational disorder known as Asperger's syndrome.

When I picked up this book, I didn't put it down until I had finished it about five hours later, at 4.23am. Having AS myself, I like detail and this book highlights that aspect of the condition. But it is unfortunate that it perpetuates the myth that all people with AS excel at maths.

I get sick of being asked if I can re-enact the feats of Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man, and it would be good to discover a book that shows that people with AS are all unique.

This is an excellent read and will give an insight about AS to teachers and other professionals, but it would have been better if Christopher had excelled at something other than maths - or maybe nothing at all.

Luke Jackson, 14, is the author of 'Freaks, Geeks and Asperger's Syndrome', published by Jessica Kingsley. He is a pupil at Arnold school in Blackpool, Lancashire.

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