83 pages 2 hours read

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2009

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Chapters 1-5

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Jason Blake introduces himself as a 12-year-old Autistic boy. He wants to tell his story in a way that neurotypical people (NTs) will understand, so he speaks in the first person and describes what he knows other people say about him—that he is weird and flaps his hands around a lot. After being diagnosed in third grade, he had a one-on-one aide attend school with him. Now, however, he is a sixth grader and going it alone. Jason can focus on single letters in a word and become so focused that he disconnects from his body. He is mostly silent around other people, and this inability to express himself through speaking makes school hard for him.

In library class, when another student occupies his favorite computer and refuses to accommodate him by moving, Jason grows frustrated, but can’t explain what is so upsetting. The librarian, Miss Leno, puts her hands on his shoulders and pushes him to an open computer. He knows she means well, but her touch is agonizing. Recalling a phrase his aide taught him for situations like this, he manages to say, “I am ok just as I am” (5).