From the time he was three or four years old, John Elder Robison realised that he was different from other people. He was unable to make eye contact or connect with other children, and by the time he was a teenager his odd habits - an inclination to blurt out non-sequiturs, obsessively dismantle radios or dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger ...
From the time he was three or four years old, John Elder Robison realised that he was different from other people. He was unable to make eye contact or connect with other children, and by the time he was a teenager his odd habits - an inclination to blurt out non-sequiturs, obsessively dismantle radios or dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them) - had earned him the label 'social deviant'. It didn't help that his mother conversed with light fixtures and his father spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. Look Me in the Eye is his story of growing up with Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism - at a time when the diagnosis simply didn't exist. Along the way it also tells the story of two brothers born eight years apart yet devoted to each other: the author and his younger brother Chris, who would grow up to become bestselling author Augusten Burroughs. This book is a rare fusion of inspiration, dark comedy and insight into the workings of the human mind. For someone who has struggled all his life to connect with other people, Robison proves to be an extraordinary storyteller.
NEW. If one looked at only Robison's impish sense of humor (he once ordered a blow-up sex doll to be delivered to his junior-high-school teacher--at school), or his success as a classic-car restorer, it might be impossible to believe he has the high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's syndrome. Clues abound, however, in his account of a youth encompassing serious inability to make and keep friends; early genius at pyrotechnics, electronics, and math; and pet names such as Poodle for his dog and Snort and Varmint for his baby brother. Much later, he calls his wife Unit Two. It is easy to recognize these telltale traits today, but Robison went undiagnosed until he was 40. In the 1960s, he was variously labeled lazy, weird, and, worse, sociopathic. Consequently, his childhood memories too often read like a kid's worst nightmares. Not only did his parents fail to understand the root of his socialization problems but they were also virtually as dysfunctional as the pair Augusten Burroughs portrays in Running with Scissors (2002). 'Nough said? Not nearly. Robison's memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him. 320 pages. 2008. Automatic UPGRADE to Expedited shipping in the U.S. when you purchase two or more items from Special Needs Project. Thank you for shopping with SNP!
This book is excellent for anyone who has a friend, friend's family member, their own family member, or themselves with Asperger's! It gives a lot of hope for a successful life! I had read the book on my NOOK because my sister is raising a grandson with Asperger's. I bought a copy of the book for her, as well as for a friend, whose grandson also has it. They are both SUPER grateful to get a copy of it. Thanks for sending the copies as quickly as you did!
Dec 24, 2009
From the inside
I was very interested, in this book, because I have a 12 year old grandson who has Aspergers. It gave me a better view of how he felt from the inside. It has been read by his mother and is now being read by an aunt who has an autistic daughter.
Nov 19, 2009
I have 2 children with autism, my oldest having Asperger's. As soon as I saw the front cover of the book the title struck me; I knew it was a biography about someone with autism. John Robison shows us what it feels like to grow up with Asperger's, how different he felt, and not knowing why. I really enjoyed the stories he told about the pranks he pulled, and sometimes how such complicated things often are really just so simple if you think about it. I enjoyed this book very much.
Jan 17, 2008
After reading several "technical" books on this subject, this was a breath of fresh air. A true "inside" look at Asperber's. Would recommend this book to anyone trying to understand the thought processes of a child or adult with Asperger's. A great read!
Publishers Weekly, 2007-07-09 Robison's thoughtful and thoroughly memorable account of living with Asperger's syndrome is assured of media attention (and sales) due in part to his brother Augusten Burroughs's brief but fascinating description of Robison in Running with Scissors. But Robison's story is much more fully detailed in this moving memoir, beginning with his painful childhood, his abusive alcoholic father and his mentally disturbed mother. Robison describes how from nursery school on he could not communicate effectively with others, something his brain "is not wired to do," since kids with Asperger's don't recognize "common social cues" and "body language or facial expressions." Failing in junior high, Robison was encouraged by some audiovisual teachers to fix their broken equipment, and he discovered a more comfortable world of machines and circuits, "of muted colors, soft light, and mechanical perfection." This led to jobs (and many hilarious events) in worlds where strange behavior is seen as normal: developing intricate rocket-shooting guitars for the rock band Kiss and computerized toys for the Milton Bradley company. Finally, at age 40, while Robison was running a successful business repairing high-end cars, a therapist correctly diagnosed him as having Asperger's. In the end, Robison succeeds in his goal of "helping those who are struggling to grow up or live with Asperger's" to see how it "is not a disease" but "a way of being" that needs no cure except understanding and encouragement from others. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-11-26 Although this memoir deals with some dark topics-including Asperger's syndrome, family alcoholism and mental illness-debut author Robison maintains a keen humor and sense of dramatic irony throughout. The gravelly voiced Robison proves to be a capable storyteller, whether describing the pranks he used to play on his much younger brother (Augusten Burroughs, who reads his foreword) or the relief of finally being diagnosed with Asperger's in middle age after a lifetime of social isolation and relatively odd behaviors. Robison is a vocal and emphatic advocate for Asperger's, which he insists is not a disease but a different-and sometimes better-neurology. Asperger's gave Robison a single-minded ability to focus on his love of electronics, giving him a place in the world as the wizard behind Kiss's smoking and flaming guitars or, later in life, a gift for diagnosing and fixing high-end imported cars. This memoir is highly entertaining and the abridgment is smoothly edited. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, July 9). (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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