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At this month’s book club, Mark Haddon's portrayal of 15-year-old Christopher—who has Asperger's syndrome—generated lively discussion. We heard exchanges about how health professionals could adapt their consultation styles for people with social cognition disorders, how they might better understand how people with Asperger's feel in company—the author's arresting description of being viewed through a one-way mirror was helpfully harrowing—and the importance of appreciating that some people have very unreliable channels of communication between their feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions. To be is to be perceived: but if you are unsure how people perceive you, and you cannot reliably perceive others, the world is a puzzling and relentlessly threatening place.
Christopher is the book's narrator. He lives with his father. He knows a lot about mathematics (he loves …
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