In Joe and Dusty Save the World, author Robert Martin deliberately avoided naming any condition or disability Joe may have, concentrating instead on all of Joe's abilities and strengths and leaving any interpretation up to the reader.
Having grown up with an older sister who was disabled, and working within organisations that have disability at their heart, Robert based Joe on various people without knowing that many of Joe's traits are actually part of who he is.
Because in January 2022, Robert was diagnosed with significant autism, something which was unexpected and which has had a major impact on his life. Not least because he now sees so much of himself in Joe.
You can read more about Robert's diagnosis and its impact here.