Descriptions of the Nondescript

Autism as a Character Trait


I'm writing a story right now where one of the main characters is an autistic child. I have been doing a lot of reading to try to understand just what that would mean to this young man in the situation I'm injecting him into. I got the idea for this a few years ago when I saw the movie Temple Grandin --- about a woman with the same name --- starring Claire Danes.

The boy is stuck with his mother in the middle of semi-apocalyptic maelstrom so severe as to make them struggle to survive. I call it "semi-apocalyptic" for a reason. You'll have to read the story to find out what that reason might be.

I wonder if anyone else who might come across this post has done something similar --- building a character trait (sometimes called a "flaw") into a source of drama and character interest?