Tommy McGee (Clay)

From Autistic characters wiki
Tommy McGee
Clay (left) and Tommy (right)
Portrayed by
Appears in Clay
Year 2001

Tommy McGee is a supporting character in the middle grade novel Clay by Colby Rodowsky.

Character creation

Author Colby Rodowsky used to work as a special needs educator.[1] Her works are often about young people dealing with difficult situations, including disability.


The story is told from the perspective of Linda "L.C." Clay McGee and her brother Timmy. After their parents get divorced and their dad gets custody, they get kidnapped by their mother Julie. At this point, Timmy is 3 and Linda is 7. To prevent people from finding them, their mom changes their names to Elsie and Tommy McPhee. Julie is mistrusting and constantly moves around. Elsie is forced to look after Tommy since they don't go to school. While Elsie knows that there's something up with Tommy, Julie insists that Tommy is a perfectly normal kid. Julie's denial of Tommy's atypical development was one of the causes for the fights that led up to the divorce. After another sudden movie, Tommy falls ill. Elsie works up the courage to tell a friendly deli owner about their situation so Tommy can get medical help. The FBI and CPS get involved, and Tommy and Elsie get reunited with their dad after 4 years of being with their mother. Tommy doesn't go back to his old name (Timmy), while Elsie decides to go by the name "Clay".


Tommy and his sister get kidnapped by their mother on the morning that their dad was going to take him to an appointment to figure out what was up with his atypical development. His mother remains in denial about his developmental delays, and his sister takes care of him for most of the day. After being reunited with their dad, Tommy does get diagnosed with autism.

He speaks in single words or not all. When he's upset, he starts moaning and rocking. He loved rotating patterns such as clocks. He has a tin with small rocks in it, which he swirls around to calm himself down. Sometimes he seemingly stares at nothing such as a television that's turned off or the wall.


  1. @webmaster (2021-01-01). January 2021 Notable Author: Colby Rodowsky. Maryland Writers' Association. Retrieved on 2023-10-08.

External links