Marcelo has an autistic-like illness that the Doctors can't actually diagnose. He attends a safe school for he and others like him to learn how to interact socially. In Marcelo in the Real World by Franciso X. Stork, Marcelo is challenged by his father, who doesn't think his son is really a special needs student, to work in his law firm for the summer. Marcello now has to learn to function in the real world. He learns about competition between coworkers, doing what is right for the injured, and even love.