Age 12

Miles is a twelve-year-old kid who’s been diagnosed with autism. He always has the best of intentions in everything he does, but has a tendency to get sidetracked with obsessive interests in particular topics or objects.

His best friend and neighbor Jake LOVES this, because Miles’ obsessions often end up in unplanned quests for adventure, such as hikes up desert mountains to find rattlesnakes (never mind the “NO TRESPASSING” signs atop the barbed wire fences), excavations in local cemeteries to learn about decomposition, or multi-day TV binges on single shows (i.e., last week’s 36-hour Everyday Italian binge…).

Miles comes across as socially challenged, but it’s heartwarming and oddly charming. He’s blunt, he’s literal, and he stands REALLY close to people when he talks to them.

He dislikes conflict and tries to make sure people get along. However, because he has a hard time reading social situations, he sometimes miscalculates (like the time he brought a heart-shaped balloon to help Jake and Madison celebrate sibling friendship…in the midst of one of their epic fights).

If Miles doesn’t accomplish what he sets out to do, he is incredibly hard on himself and can descend into the dreaded “Infinite Loop of Frustration” where he walks in circles, head down, repeating words.

Miles is susceptible to sensory overload; a ringing school bell can hurt his ears, scratchy clothes feel like sandpaper, and flashing lights bring him to his knees. However, after a period of cooling off where he uses autism therapy strategies, he’s right back up and ready to go.

Miles loves routine and gets frustrated if something prevents him from it. Lunch is at noon. Always. He sleeps on the same side of his bed. Every night. He likes his pizza with 17 olives and 12 mushrooms. Only.

Miles has a crush on Madison and will do just about anything he thinks she wants. Of course what he “thinks” she wants isn’t always what she actually DOES want – sometimes it’s the opposite of what she wants (Like the time she fell off her bike and kicked it and said she never wanted to see it again for the rest of her life, so he stole it from her garage later that night and buried it in a nearby canyon and planted bushes over the burial site then covered it with a large tarp.).