The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Book Project

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Book Project

Samantha Redeker and Brook Blausey, Reporter


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Hadden is a novel that is incorporated in the English 12 curriculum at Spring Lake that covers the topics of Autism and abuse. More than 10 million people a year are abused. 2 out of 3 of those abuse cases go unreported each year. 1 in 3 children on the autism spectrum are mistreated. Children with autism who have experienced any form of abuse are in a very vulnerable position because there is very little information on how it is best to support them, but also because they’re more likely to experience this maltreatment. 

In the curious incident of the dog in the night time written by Mark Hadden we catch a glimpse into Christopher’s life. Christopher is a 15 year old who has autism and lives with his father. Abuse is a common theme in Chris’s life. Chris’s dad told him that his mom died of a heart attack when he was thirteen years old, and he was fifteen when he found out she was alive. Part of the reason his mom left was that she couldn’t control her anger — in the middle of the book we find out she would hit Chris when she got overwhelmed because he couldn’t understand or do things as well as normal people. The abuse of lying has a big effect on Christopher because he is now too scared to live with his dad and has to turn to his mother who left him due to his condition. 

Abuse can be the cause of long term effects even if the abuse is short term. Those who have experienced abuse may not even know their situation until further down the road. Christpoher is a good example of this because he had no idea that he was being physically and mentally abused by the people in his life. Due to the mental abuse that Christopher experienced, he had a hard time knowing who he could trust. Another example of Christopher’s long term effects of his abuse is that he had bad anxiety and was not able to focus on important events such as his A-level math exam. Throughout the whole book, we see Christopher hyperfixate on his math skills, but at the end of the book we see Christopher struggle with even doing simple math equations. This is a clear sign of long term effects from abuse because his stress from the abuse is building up and consuming his mind. 

Children with autism are more likely to be abused by a trusted adult or bullied at school, so overall it is harder for them to come forward about their abuse because they may not understand the situation that they are in. Kids who have autism are twice as likely to be abused than neruo-typical children. Including this book in the curriculum at Spring Lake raises awareness of these matters and informs the students.