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Here is a key insight to creating realistic autistic characters: We do not do the visibly autistic things we do because of “autism,” full stop. Like non-autistic people, we are responding to our experiences of the world. Those experiences simply differ from those of non-autistic people.
Overall, I was very pleased with Al Capone Does My Shirts and how it depicts autism. Moose and Natalie are complex and endearing characters who remain with you long after the book is closed.