Chapters 197, 199

This chapter begins with Christopher on the train going to find his mother. He is in the midst of thinking of all of the reasons why he does not like being on a train. Mostly, he does not like being around a big group of people, but he goes into detail about a time he was taken home by his mom in the car and she agreed to take home a few other children who needed a ride. These children were overwhelming to him and he removed himself from the car to escape the sounds coming from the two other children in the car and ended up with stitches. He comes out of the memory and is attempting to stand very still on the train, when is approached by an out of breath policeman who is looking for him on behalf of his father. The policeman asks Christopher several questions and tells him he is going to take him to the station to meet back with his father. They go through several questions about where he is going and Christopher is adamant that he is not going back to the station with the police officer, but he is going to London to see his mother. Christopher goes on to ask the policeman if his father was arrested for killing the dog with a pitch fork. The policeman answers all of his questions, but is stern about the fact that he is taking him back to the station and he does not want any monkey business. Christopher did several things to internally distract himself from the train ride and the fact that he had to use of the restroom. After having a small accident on his pants, the police officer insisted that he go use the restroom. When Christopher entered the restroom, he was appalled and closed his eyes enough to where he did not have to see the filth and disgust around him. After he was finished using the restroom, he remembered a time where he felt safe at his house when he went inside a cupboard. He saw shelves and decided to climb on the middle one and pull cases to make him feel safe. The police officer came in looking for him, but was unsure where he was and ran away frantically. A lady came to say that he was at his stop, but he did not respond and scared that the policeman would find him, he remained on the shelf until the train started running again

In chapter 199 he went into detail about people believing in God and trying to understand the complexity of people and the world. He says people believe in God because most cannot wrap their heads around the fact that there can be complex things, such as the brain that happen by chance. He believes that life on earth happened as an accident, a good accident, but an accident. For this special accident to occur, three special things have to happen. These three things are replication, mutation, and heritability.

In reflection, Christopher is not in a good place. He is leaving his father and all he knows to find his mother. He is so stuck on the literal address of his mother and finding her location, that he is not able to exhibit any true rationale or reasoning. He is approached by the police and while the policeman is trying to ensure he is found and safe, Christopher cannot get past his dad and how he believes that he killed the dog. After multiple questions and attempts from the officer to calm him and explain why he is trying to find him, all Christopher is worries about his calming himself down and getting away from him. Again it goes back to Christopher’s concrete and sometimes what presents to be a selfish point of view, which is potentially going to put him into more danger than he could ever be prepared to deal with.

–Lindsay Manis

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9 thoughts on “Chapters 197, 199

  1. Holly Hamill says:

    Will Christopher make it to see his mother? I really want to hear her take on this whole story line. I worry about Christopher’s response to all of this stress and hope that he doesn’t land in more trouble.

  2. Dana Shanton says:

    While reading the chapters involving the police officer I am assuming that Christopher’s Dad notified them of his difficulties with social communication. Initially it seems like the police officer understands, however his attitude with Christopher on the train suggests otherwise in my opinion. I feel like this situation could have gone differently had the police officer spoken to Christopher in a different way.

  3. Erin Williams says:

    Christopher’s need to crawl into small, dark spaces to help him calm makes me wonder how many of our therapy rooms may be over stimulating to our students and if we should take that more into consideration when decorating our spaces! Maybe I should tone it down and make a space for comfort and calming.

  4. Pam Schmit says:

    It surprises me and impresses me that Christopher is able to pull this trip off. I know it is a dangerous thing for him to do, but he is successful. He persevered in spite of the crowd of people with which he was unfamiliar, the smells in the bathroom, meeting up with the policeman, hiding on the shelf among the packages. That took a lot of courage on his part to face his fears in all these new situations. On the other hand, he really had no clue about the dangers he could have faced –didn’t know what he didn’t know. He is a strong-willed character.

  5. Kristin Kelly says:

    I’m a little worried that his mother is going to over-react and say something awful if and when he does get to her house. What if all this CBI has a horrible ending? Time to keep reading….

  6. Melissa G. says:

    I don’t really know what to say about this section of the book because it was so alarming. How long has he been riding on the train? How can a young teen hide in a luggage compartment on a train without anyone saying anything? He must be screaming inside of his head and I wondered if he was headed for a breakdown when I read this section. It is amazing that he could keep himself focused enough to make it through all of these steps to get on the train. I hope he can learn to use his determination and problem solving skills for productive purposes when all of this is over.

  7. Abby Ramser says:

    As Christopher is on this journey to and in London it provides insight into the concrete thinking of individuals with autism and supports the need for providing strategies and materials for our children to use when in these difficult situations (i.e. picture communication, social stories, etc.). I think it also supports the need for identification for children with autism and other disabilities so individuals in the community are provided with information about the individual and how best to communicate with them.

  8. Kathy Mckenzie-Hensley says:

    I may be the only one here but, I was also so afraid Toby would escape and never be found (which would be devastating for Christopher) OR get spooked and bite Christopher, get stepped on…so many possibilities! I was very relieved that neither one was actually harmed. It was bad enough the story began with the murder of a dog!

  9. Kristin Kelly says:

    In chapter 193, Christopher writes out a timetable for one of his days. I found it very insightful because of the way he broke his day down. I think I have my way of organizing a visual schedule for a student but what if it is not the way a student needs the day broken up to make it meaningful for him. Since Christopher can read and write, we have insight into his way of thinking, wants, needs, etc. For our youngest students, this is more difficult. I am wondering how I can receive their input into things like their visual schedule or things that help them focus better.

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