It is my understanding that Mark Haddon, the author of Curious Incident, worked with autistic children for some time before becoming a writer. His past, professional experience provides a level of certification to the truth of the novel's approach to describing this illness as described in the first person narrative of the main character, Christopher Boone. But as I was reading it I was always asking myself how CLOSE he came to actually describing what a victim of autism really experiences in his view of the world. I have found the comments of those who have posted to this board who have personal experience with this illness, and whose comments have expressed their ability to relate to the main character's sometimes skewered perceptions of his world as an unassailable validation of the accuracy of Haddon's depiction. Thanks so much to those who experience to some degree the effects of this illness and have shared their personal thoughts.
With regard to my reading experience of this book I can only say that being placed in Christopher Boone's shoes and allowed to view the world from his perspective was both an illuminating and fascinating experience. By the time I had completed the book I could almost predict how Christopher would react to any situation he might find himself in. I share the thoughts of Skydrake: that books like this are important because they give us a first hand look at something we would normally be unable to comprehend, and through comprehension comes empathy.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright