Most galling to me:
Picoult's portrait of Jacob is successful - but is it really likely that a person with Asperger's could be articulate enough to narrate his own world? Or is Jacob just a way to move the story along? People with Asperger's aren't supposed to be able to empathize with others, but Jacob sometimes seems to understand how his mother or brother or other characters feel.
"Is it really likely that a person with Asperger's could be articulate enough to narrate his [or her] own world?"
Looking over at the massive amounts of autistic biographies I have in multiple locations around my apartment, and the many autistic-written blogs I write daily, the answer seems to be an unqualified yes. Nor are those of us who are labeled "Asperger's" or "high-functioning" the only autistic people capable of expressing ourselves "articulately" (whatever that means) in writing. Nor are autistic people inapable of "narrating" in our own heads, regardless of our writing or speaking abilities or any other arbitrary category used to divide us.
Ms. Ma says the book educated her about autism--but clearly this "education" was rather incomplete.