Max is growing up and he’s making adult decisions. He is determined to claim the reward for all his hard work in middle school by walking at graduation, even though he hates Cedar Knoll and hasn’t been attending for the final month of classes. Many kids would just kiss off the ceremony and ask the school to mail the diploma and yearbook, but Max believes that he deserves the hard-earned reward, and by heck he’s going to get it, even though the teachers weren’t there for him at the end. Good for Max!
Understanding structure and rules is essential for anyone who is parenting, teaching or befriending a person diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A breach in the rules or the structure can be much more disturbing than even the most grave of social missteps. A 2010 novel by Jodi Picoult, “House Rules,” is about a young man diagnosed with Asperger’s who gets caught up in a murder mystery, and it does a great job of depicting how all-consuming the rules can become in the lives of those of us touched by autism.