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Thirty-two Faces by Kevinchn


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The Prologue and first chapter of a new story by an author new to me, Kevinchn, is up.

http://awesomedude.com/kevinchn/thirty-two-faces/index.htm

It's a great story, told from the point of view of an autistic younger brother and so far focussing on his relationship with his older brother and how that changes after the older one goes away to college. The story is doing a good job of putting the reader inside the very different mind of an autistic person and making that experience empathetic, I'm looking forward to reading more.

In chapter one, he's developed a crush on his brother, which fills me with trepidation, I can't see any way that this plotline can end well. I hope the author can!

There doesn't seem yet to be an Author page for Kevinchn here at AD, if he's new here and not just new to me, may I bid him a very hearty welcome?!

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This is a story that has impressed me greatly. I have some experience with autism, and the characterisations in this story are, to me, spot on. It's extremely challenging because, as he's shown so far, someone with autism thinks differently to the 'neurotypical' (those without autism). I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.

PS: The presentation is great, too. Thanks to the staff at AD for the fantastic formatting. :smile:

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Well done Kevin, and welcome indeed. I come from a part of industry where some touch of autism was relatively common. If you can get across to people how difficult it is for autistic people to appear "normal" , how hard they have to work at it and how fragile their world is then you will have achieved much more than simply written a beautiful and skillfully crafted story... As I said, welcome and well done.

Jeff (one of the A-team)

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  • 3 weeks later...

The part about Keith expecting the operation to go for exactly 12 hours is very typical for someone with autism. They tend to be precise, and expect others to be the same. We (the neurotypical) may find it amusing, but it's a very real behavioural pattern.

I also loved the bit about a 73 page get-well card.... The final edited card, though, was very moving :smile:

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I must say that I agree with Lugnutz, I just can't wrap my head around it either, that may though be because I am on the autistic spectrum. It is though a good story and it shows just how difficult autistic people find it to relate to things most people take for granted.

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Autism is a neurological condition. Essentially, the brain is wired differently to the neurotypical (the norm). As a consequence, Autism is a spectrum, rather than a single condition with specific symptoms. A few, from the story, are:

  • Inability to read non-verbal cues (such as facial expressions)
  • Tendency to not make eye contact
  • Social/emotional instincts tend to not exist. Someone with autism can show this sort of behaviour, but it's learnt, not instinctive.
  • Tendency to be rules focused. Breaking rules is a big no-no
  • Inability to prioritise facts. All facts are important -- there's no hierarchy. This can swamp the person with Autism, as it means there is too much data to process at once
  • Sensitivity to some senses. Light and sound are common ones, but it could also be smell, touch, or taste. Keith appears to have sound and touch sensitivities, as shown by the aversion to loud noises, and how he doesn't like the feel of certain material
  • Tendency to think differently. Because of the weakness in social/emotional instincts,and the inability to prioritise facts, as well as a different brain wiring, they see things from a different perspective

Having said all of that, there's a saying I heard several years ago: If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.

What that means is that they're all different. Keith is a good example of one person with autism, but his behaviour isn't 'typical' of someone with autism because there's no such thing. It's certainly consistent with what I know of the condition, but autism shows itself as a set of traits from a wide pool of possible traits, whence why it's called a spectrum.

It's the fascination with reading the story from the point of view of someone with a different way of looking at things that intrigues me with this story. Seeing things from Keith's point of view, and trying to appreciate that point of view, is why I'm loving this story.

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It's the fascination with reading the story from the point of view of someone with a different way of looking at things that intrigues me with this story. Seeing things from Keith's point of view, and trying to appreciate that point of view, is why I'm loving this story.

You summed up my feelings exactly, Graeme, in these two sentences!

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So far, I've read the first two chapters and the prologue and I must say this is one of the best stories I've read this year. Well written, amazing detail. It is an achievement to write from the POV of someone who experiences the world in a completely different way. I had a friend once with twin boys who were high-functioning and I can attest that each person experiences the world differently. Even twins. This is a marvelous story!

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PS: The presentation is great, too. Thanks to the staff at AD for the fantastic formatting. :smile:

Thanks, Graeme. The conversion of this story to html - so that the pages you see at AD look just like they did in the author's Word douments - has presented challenges like no other story I've worked on here. That has led to some fairly creative thinking!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Editing is complete on the last chapter of Thirty Two Faces and the Epilogue. They will be posted this week, so those who may not have started this extraordinarily original series can fire up your screens now. The author, kevinchn, has put the reader into the mind of a 17-year old autistic boy and has maintained that viewpoint from the prologue to the final chapter. This is one of the finest stories I have read in a long time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just read this story.

This is an amazing story. Just brilliant writing. Definitely one of the best I've read for some time, a masterful job of placing me in the head of someone who thinks, reacts, and understands in a way that is very different from myself. It's takes a real talent to do that kind of writing and you handled it wonderfully.

Congratulations on an excellent story, and thanks.

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Thank you, Gee. Honestly when I first tried writing this, all my friends thought I was biting off more than I can chew. I was doing an assignment on ASD for last semester and this story came into my head while I was researching on the condition. Not a lot of people want to read it, but I was glad that I did it anyway.

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  • 3 years later...
On 9/27/2014 at 12:20 AM, kevinchn said:

Thank you, Gee. Honestly when I first tried writing this, all my friends thought I was biting off more than I can chew. I was doing an assignment on ASD for last semester and this story came into my head while I was researching on the condition. Not a lot of people want to read it, but I was glad that I did it anyway.

Kevinchn, I understand that you probably won't see this—because you don't seem to have visited these fora since 2014—but I would like to add my voice to the chorus of thanks and kudos. I am in awe of realism and sensitivity with which you captured Keith's character. If you ever decide to write another story, about autism or any other subject, I hope you will consider submitting it here. At any rate, I consider this story one of the best ones here.

peter

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