83 pages 2 hours read

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2009

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Important Quotes

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“To tell my story in their language, in your language. I am Jason Blake.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 1)

Jason is tired of being misunderstood, so he will use writing to express himself in the language of neurotypical people. As he usually writes fictional stories, writing his memoir is an important step toward connecting with the world he often feels so disconnected from. 

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“But the thing people see most is silence, because some kinds of silence are actually visible.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

Jason can speak, but it is very difficult. When people speak to him or ask questions it can take a very long time for him to respond, or he may not know how to respond at all. He usually says only a few words at a time. People assume that because he stays silent he doesn’t have much to say, or that his cognitive function is very low. His silence is visible in that it leads people to identify him as non-verbal and make assumptions about his internal experience. 

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“I know from experience that she is trying to help me, but it doesn’t. I can feel her weight on my shoulders like metal cutting my body right off my head.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 4)

When the librarian tries to help Jason, she places her hands on his shoulders and guides his body. This passage demonstrates how very uncomfortable unwanted touch is to Jason, helping the reader understand just how sensitive Jason’s brain is to external stimulation.