There are many stereotypes about people with ASD that Frances is going to confront. It might even be a trickier matter than I originally thought since it occurs to me that she actually has stereotypical traits and behaviours.
Music, for example. In the long process of getting her diagnosed, one well-meaning paediatrician asked, “Is she musical? They [people with Aspergers] often are quite musically inclined.”
Well, and I know that I’ve written about this before, she is very musical. She actually plays the piano (and xylophone) by ear — with pinpoint accuracy.
We have an upright piano, but Frances spends more time at the keyboards (perhaps because it is more precisely tuned than our antique piano).
She keeps her hands on the keys but turns her head away while looking upwards, listening to something that only she can hear.
When I watch her, I wonder: why does it come so easily to her to simply listen to a piece of music and then play it back so accurately?
One reason might be, as her piano teacher noted, that many people get frustrated by the process of learning the piano whereas Frances uses the process to work out her frustration. The challenge is actually what drives her.
Who knows? All I know is that I enjoy listening to her.