A Comparison between Christopher Boone and Raymond Babbitt
Asperger´s disorder is not a disease, but a developmental brain disorder. It is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls and it shows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance of Asperger´s disorder's occurrence. According to Hans Asperger:
It is important to know that the person with AS perceives the world differently. Therefore, many behaviours that seem odd are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behaviour.
Both Christopher Boone, from the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Raymond Babbitt, from the movie Rainman, suffer from AspergerÂ´s disorder. They have several characteristics in common: they are both autistic savants with impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.
Moreover, Christopher and Raymond are similar in that they are both autistic mathematical savants. According to the Wikipedia free dictionary:
An autistic savant, historically described as an idiot savant, is a person with both autism and savant syndrome. Savant syndrome describes a person having a developmental or mental handicap of some sort with extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people.
Christopher?s mathematical interests are reflected in his numbering his chapters strictly with prime numbers, ignoring composite numbers, such as 4 and 6. He is also the first student to take an A level in Maths and to get an A grade at his school. Christopher has a photographic memory and is extremely observant. Similarly, Raymond has an excellent memory and is able to calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head with great speed and accuracy. He can count 246 spilled toothpicks in an instant and calculate square roots in a flash.
Furthermore, Christopher and Raymond are similar regarding social interaction. They experience a lack of social or emotional reciprocity. Christopher knows very little about human beings and their behaviour. He also has a fear of strangers and new places, and his favourite dream is one in which all normal people, those who are unlike him, die. In addition to that, he is over-sensitive to information and stimuli. For this reason, he screams and reacts violently to people who touch him. However, he does not mind pressing his fingers against those of his parents as a gesture of love. He curls up and groans to protect himself against overwhelming noise or information. Removed from his feelings, Christopher can only respond with logic, or with the anger which sometimes overwhelms him as a result of fear or frustration. Just as Christopher knows very little about human beings and their behaviour, so does Raymond. He is a methodical, mechanical, flat-voiced middle-aged man. He shows little emotional expression and...