Colours of the spectrum.

I recently read a fictional book called “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simision. I enjoyed the book immensely, thinking at first that my daughter had sent me romantic fiction which I tend to avoid. The blurb on the back says ” Love isn’t an exact science- but no one told Don Tillman. A handsome 39 year old geneticist. Don’s never had a second date. So he devises The Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner.” It has far more  content than just Don’s relationship

On further reading, it becomes apparent that Don , who lectures on Autism is himself on the spectrum. The book is cleverly written and extremely funny in places., and has a happy ending. I won’t say too much more incase you want to read it. For someone like me who has experience of living with someone on “the spectrum”, and people commonly ,quite glibly say we all are. This may not mean much  unless you actually try to live with someone ,whom you may adore ,but who has little understanding of social norms, you might not say it so lightly.

If you look up the word “spectrum” you may read ” a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary within the continuum. A rainbow of colours”.

A rainbow in deed.In the book, Don has to keep to his rules for life to be able to function, a woman sharing that life must be able to fit in with his rigid criteria. He finds the opposite, an angel that bends all the rules to live with him in a happy relationship. Only in fiction; unless you are  completely self-sacrificing,unconcerned with needing a life of your own or caring about your own emotions. As I said it didn’t stop me enjoying the book but it was ,I felt, very unlikely, however much you adore your partner.

Being on the spectrum includes high functioning, intelligent people, but who might seem to us boring neuro-typical types a bit “odd” and this oddness can be endearing, up to a point. At times creating great hilarity.

But folk who “analyse  their observations of social interaction in rigid guidelines and apply these rules in awkward ways ” are not so easy to live with 24 hours a day.An inflexible routine, narrow areas of interest but filled with volumes of detailed information coupled with a rigid demeanor causes friction within a relationship. Add mood swings, rages,nocturnal awakenings, anxiety and sometimes depression and the rainbows colours start to darken.

Do read the novel if you can, it is highly entertaining but from where I’m standing very improbable.


I would love to hear your comments and will try to reply ASAP.

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