Does Christopher Boone have autism?

Christopher’s exact condition is never explicitly stated by any character in the novel, but he shares many traits associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Christopher says he goes to a “special school” and has “behavioral problems.” His reported behavioral problems include groaning, refusing to speak for days at a time, and aversion to physical touch, all of which are associated with autism and Asperger syndrome. Christopher says, “I didn’t understand about other people having minds,” meaning he has a hard time imagining the mental states and emotions of others, which is one of the key traits of a person living with ASD. However, because he is never officially diagnosed in the novel, Christopher’s specific developmental disorder becomes less important than his unique interpretation of the world around him.

Why Does Christopher like dogs?

Christopher likes dogs because they are smart, trustworthy, and easier to interact with than people. When Christopher finds Wellington’s dead body, he writes: “You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.” These qualities are important to Christopher because he struggles to read social cues and values honesty, mainly because he believes lies are illogical. At the end of the novel, Christopher’s father gifts him with a dog, and this gesture helps repair their broken relationship since Christopher trusts dogs, and can therefore trust his father again.

Why are the chapters prime numbers?

Christopher assigns his chapters prime numbers because he appreciates the way prime numbers are simultaneously simple and complicated. Prime numbers have a simple definition, but there exists no formula for figuring out whether a number is prime. Christopher believes prime numbers are like life in this way, that they “are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” Christopher uses prime numbers simply because he likes them.

Why does Christopher like Sherlock Holmes so much?

Christopher believes that if he were a real detective, he would be like Sherlock Holmes. Christopher copies Sherlock Holmes’s sleuthing style as he attempts to solve Wellington’s murder mystery. He feels an affinity for Sherlock Holmes because they are both intelligent, observant, and obsessive about their interests. Christopher writes, “[Holmes] is very intelligent and he solves the mystery and he says, ‘The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.’ But he notices them, like I do.” The irony of this comparison is that Sherlock Holmes also struggles to empathize and connect with others emotionally, which Christopher does not note. Like Christopher, Sherlock Holmes interacts with the world in an unconventional manner, so Christopher feels validated by this fictional character.

How does Siobhan help Christopher?

As Christopher’s primary teacher, Siobhan helps Christopher with his emotional, social, and academic growth, even guiding his book-writing. Because Christopher struggles to infer meanings that are not obvious, Siobhan demonstrates how facial expressions can indicate different emotions, and gives Christopher specific, detailed instructions about his behavior and its effects on others. In Christopher’s words, “When she tells me not to do something she tells me exactly what it is that I am not allowed to do. And I like this.” Throughout the novel, Christopher often references Siobhan’s advice and instructions when navigating difficult situations. Siobhan serves as one of the few adult figures that Christopher completely trusts.