The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Analysis

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We all look to law enforcement when in a troubling situation, and many leaders in this profession have become the beacon of virtue in our society. Even so, officers themselves do not always know how to respond to certain situations. Autism spectrum disorder (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome) is a term for a group of disorders of brain development and cause for difficulties with social interaction and communication with others. Many law enforcement officials are not trained to deal with individuals who may be suffering from autism spectrum disorder. Such situations can cause for distress in both individuals and can create hazardous situations that could have been avoided, with proper training. Before the 1990’s, training for law enforcement …show more content…
We often look towards public figures in these uncomfortable situations, but when they also do not know who to respond, serious problems can occur. In novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, the main character Christopher Boone has a form of autism spectrum disorder. Throughout the novel he has several accidental police encounters. In nearly all the encounters the officers do not know how to handle Christopher in a gentle and acceptable way for his condition. Even though this is a fictional novel, these types of encounters are a true fact of life, even today. Situations like the ones that Christopher was put into can cause for discomfort and unintended results, when proper precautions are not taken. On one occasion in the novel, Christopher was found in a compromising situation while in the front yard of his neighbor’s home, holding her dead dog. When the police officer arrived he continued to ask questions and did not allow Christopher enough time to speak. “I like policemen, too, and I wanted to answer the question properly, but the police officer did not give me enough time to work out the correct answer” (Haddon 7). This statement reflects upon one of the suggestions that Debbaudt makes for all officers to follow when in the presence of a person with autism, who may be in a compromising situation. The officer did not allow Christopher enough time to think …show more content…
He is baffled by phrases, such as “I laughed my socks off” (Haddon 15) and does not understand why someone would speak in this way. In Christopher’s case, he does not have an encounter with a police officer where he is completely confused by the officer’s word choice, but there were many other instances that he was confused by choice in language. This is a similar case for many other adults or children with autism spectrum disorder and it is important that law enforcement officials and first responders are aware of this. In Debbaudt’s list of suggestions for individuals involved in law enforcement, he says that colloquialisms should be avoided because they can create more tension and confusion for the person with autism or another mental illness. When encountering a situation with an individual who may have autism it is suggested that colloquialisms and expressions, such as metaphors, are not used. This can be a difficult feat for officers and people in daily life to accomplish because these words and expressions are ingrained in the subconscious of many. It is important law enforcement officials use language that is conducive towards the person they are working with, so that they can get their intentions across and make the person feel comfortable in their presence. Therefore, the person with the mental illness may be able to explain

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