Fowler, Analysis 5

In the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, author Mark Haddon writes, “ And I could hear that there were fewer people in the little station when the train wasn’t there, so I opened my eyes and I looked at my watch and it said 8:07 p.m. and I had been sitting on the bench for approximately 5 hours but it hadn’t seemed like
approximately 5 hours, except that my bottom hurt and I was hungry and thirsty” (180).
If you have ever been to London, you know that it is hectic. People are everywhere! If you go on the Tube during the workweek, you are packed in the Subway like sardines in a can. On the sidewalks, you better keep up with the pedestrian traffic or you’ll get knocked over. When I was in London, it was the week of Christmas. It wasn’t tourist season but the locals of London were getting their last minute Christmas shopping in. Oxford Street, the main shopping street in London, was busy and shops like Selfridges and Harrods were chaotic. London is a great city filled with history and culture, in fact it’s my favorite city in the world, but it can be a lot to handle because there are so many people.
Numerous times throughout the text, Christopher states that he doesn’t like crowds or strangers. If one doesn’t like crowds or strangers, one will not like London. Prior to reading the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, I never thought about how big cities aren’t really autism friendly. However, the services that are needed are for people with autism are located in big cities. According to Autism Speaks, the best places to live in the United States for people who have autism include; the greater New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and the Boston metropolitan areas. So, areas with large populations. Why are these areas the best? According to the study, the people who responded are pretty happy about educational services, proximity to outside services, flexible employer policies, access to medical care, and recreational opportunities. The services that are needed are in large cities but they still aren’t autism friendly. As we see in the text, metropolitan areas can cause a lot of stress for people with autism. As the Daily Mail states, living or even visiting a big city can be difficult. Many people with autism have deficits in language and social skills. Tasks such as shopping, asking for directions, planning a route, and navigating crowded areas can be difficult. However, things are changing. Numerous cities are becoming autistic friendly! For example, a student from Kansas State University, Elizabeth Decker, developed a toolkit to improve cities. Decker’s design is to connect public transportation and services with green areas, markets/shopping areas, and housing.
Cities have the services that people with autism need. However, they aren’t necessarily autistic friendly. However, things are changing and the world is slowly but surely becoming more suitable for people with autism.
Citations
https://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/10-best-places-live-if-you-have-autism

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2620656/The-city-designed-AUTISM-Planner-designs-urban-hub-make-transport-jobs-public-spaces-inclusive-brother.html#ixzz4PqDWt6id

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One thought on “Fowler, Analysis 5

  1. vanords

    First off, I think it’s awesome that you’ve been to London and are so familiar with it! Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to go there. This is probably stemming from my love of Harry Potter, Narnia, and Jane Austen: not gonna lie. But still, even now as an adult, my admiration for and interest in the U.K. hasn’t faded. This made reading “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” extra intriguing. Being an American English-speaker, when I first began reading the book I was initially imaging the U.S. and American accents until it hit me that this book was taking place in England with the main characters of course having British accents. This is a side point, I know, but reading this book made me notably aware of something I of course knew but never actively thought about: that autism is everywhere. We’ve read books taking place in the U.S. but it was really cool expanding our autistic-character list to a young British boy. It just begins to paint a more well-rounded picture in my head when I relate different things.

    What you said about how big cities affect people with autism, yet they are also some of the best places for people with ASD to live is very interesting. I hadn’t considered where the “best place” for someone with autism would be. Yet, now thinking about it I imagine loud, crowded, forever changing, fast pace places like New York and London would be uncomfortable and often challenging for people with ASD. Social anxieties, needing routine and consistency, disliking physical contact with other people, not liking strangers, hating loud notices – are all common symptoms of ASD that become violated in large cities where the populations are dense and the chaos is high. It’s great that these large cities often are very accommodating for being in close vicinity to different places someone with autism would need to frequent, but it is also unfortunate that smaller cities can’t offer similar standards. For medical centers, group work, activities and recreation, support, and technology, big cities can triumph over small towns. Even though you said a woman is working on a kit for people with autism, I think it would be huge if more programs were developed to reach small towns across America and make them more accommodating for ASD. It crossed my mind that people with ASD can’t quite be comfortable in either typical situation: big cities are autistic accommodating but not autism friendly and small towns are autism friendly but not autistic accommodating. It sort of gives this ultimatum between a comfortable environment or convenience with resources.
    It just seems that in 2016 with ASD being common and awareness for it continuously growing there should be better middle ground for living. That’s something I don’t know very much about but I would be interested in knowing more on.

    Really liked your analysis for this week, Ashleighn. Cool connections!

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