|Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
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Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. It was no wonder he gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on.
After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, his savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a “real” job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose in the company, the more he had to pretend to be “normal” and do what he simply couldn’t: communicate. It wasn’t worth the paycheck.
It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself—and the world.
Look Me in the Eye is the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as “defective,” who could not avail himself of KISS’s endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people’s given names (he calls his wife “Unit Two”). He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents—the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs and write the bestselling memoir Running with Scissors.
Ultimately, this is the story of Robison’s journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner—repairing his beloved high-end automobiles. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien, yet always deeply human.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Flavor of the month? More and better education is needed.
As the mother of a 19-year old daughter with AS (first diagnosed by a neurologist at the age of 5), I read this book with mixed emotions. AS is becoming better recognized as a disorder distinct from "traditional" autism, but the mental suffering of those who are truly high-functioning, including my daughter, at the hands of the ignorant, children and adults alike, is still pervasive.
I am particularly concerned about Robison's self-description as a savant. That and genius in a "normal" person are somewhat different things. This, and the fact that he cannot comprehend the very complex logic that drives humor, are, I think, rather telling. Most autistic savants have one or two special abilities that may manifest themselves in multiple ways. But these abilities tend to be concrete and non-symbolic rather than more usual left hemisphere skills that are more logical and symbolic. Those with AS tend to use both hemispheres more-or-less equally, while "normal" people are largely left-brained.
This author may well have AS (as opposed to "true" high-functioning autism), but I am not convinced. This does not make his memoir any less important, but in my opinion, his disorder as he himself describes it does not seem to be a typical model of AS, nor would I see him as particularly high-functioning. His self-description lacks insight, and therefore makes it misleading. In particular, his misunderstanding of savant skills and misreading of such things as body language and social communication are more autistic than AS. Persons with AS may have such difficulties, but they are also more likely to simply exhibit literalism and anxiety with regard to change than Robison seems to do, and to be more aware of their disabilities from an early age.
Those readers who may see AS in themselves or others based on mere observation after reading this book would be well advised to delve further into the subject before participating in the creation of the next "flavor of the month".
The autobiography of a man with Asperger's, "Look Me in the Eye" provided a few glimpses into the thinking process and the way the world treats those who react to normal stimuli in a way different than the perceived "right" way. The book, no surprise, lacked a deep emotional connection, so while enlightening, was not moving.
I much preferred "Speed of the Dark" and "Daniel's Not Talking."...more info
- Must-read for anyone interested in/touched by autism
John Elder Robison isn't normal -- he knows this pretty quickly in his youth. He is baffled, though, to determine what it is that sets him apart from others and causes his difficulties. After being told for years that he would "come to no good," Robison manages to break free from others' expectations and create a fulfilling and rewarding life for himself in the world of technology.
It isn't until his third decade that he discovers the troubling personality characteristics -- his inability to sense others' social cues, his struggles creating close relationships, his comfort with machines and technology that far outweigh his comfort with other humans -- are actually signs of a form of Autism, called Asperger's Syndrome.
Robison shows the reader the struggles he's dealt with, as well as the gifts that his "disorder" brings with it. And this book is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in autism, or has been touched by it in some way. Because he is at the milder end of the spectrum, he is able to adjust and put words to the sensations, thoughts, and feelings he experienced, and this book may be a gateway to understanding what others with more severe symptoms may be experiencing.
At times heartbreaking, hilarious, and thought-provoking, this book is a well-written addition to human understanding, as well as a plea for those of us considered "normal" to practice compassion towards those who are different. ...more info
- Not a guidebook to Asperger's but just a great story
If you are looking for an expert guide to Asperger's, this is NOT it. It's just a humorous story about an everyday person and why he acts the way he acts. It does give those of us with "Aspergian" kids hope that they will be able to live completely successful lives. ...more info
- A New Way of Looking at the World
I bought this book to get more insight into how my son sees the world. I got more than I bargained for. I laughed, cried, and was able to have discussions with my son with a much deeper appreciation for his struggles as well as his strengths. The book would be a good read even if you don't know anything about Aspergers. However, if you know someone with Asperger's, the book really does help you understand....more info
- Make it stop
I picked this book up at the local bookstore after reading all the rave reviews and finding out that his brother was Augusten Burroughs. I wanted to like it, but it was so boring! I'm not a fan of fixing cars, machinery, KISS, or pranks. This book seemed like it was more geared(ha) towards people with engineering backgrounds than describing Asperger's syndrome. I read a lot of books, especially memoirs, and I've never fought so hard to stay awake. I thought some of the nicknames were cute eg. Little Bear and Cubby, but the weaknesses in this book far outshined the very few strengths....more info
- Excellent book for parents of Asperger's children!
This book was very enlightening to me, especially as a parent of a recently diagnosed Asperger's child. To read of John Elder's childhood experiences from his point of view gave me such a different perspective. I gave copies of the book to my child's teachers since they are all new at working with forms of autism and it's been helpful. A friend of mine read the book and now believes he has Asperger's (he read the electronics section about the KISS projects and totally understood what the author had written!). I really enjoyed the book -- relatively easy reading but so eye-opening....more info
In John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me in the Eye he recounts his life with Asperger's, which is seen by many as "high functioning autism." Interesting, insightful, and seemingly honest, it is a very quick read.
- This novel provided insight into how someone with Asperger's thinks; they are often perceived as eccentric or socially challenged, and Robison does his best to explain why he personally may be perceived this way. His self-analysis is admirable.
- Robison's writing is very straight to the point, organized and precise (just like how his mind works!)
- The reader must respect his willingness to publicly discuss both his family's and his own issues throughout his life; many memories that he discusses are obviously painful (especially since he doesn't elaborate on many).
- The memoir has a very personal feel; ten pages into the book you are rooting for John to succeed.
- I think the main issue I have with this book is that I have no way of knowing how much editing or assistance Robison received throughout the publishing process. If it was little, congrats to him. If it was a lot than I would feel slightly mislead. While for the most part I give him the benefit of the doubt, part of me just can't help but to wonder......more info
- This book is on target...
There are many clinical books telling you what you'll see from an Aspergerian, but this is the first book I've read that describes the world as THEY see it. It is fascinating, funny, and at times very sad, but John Elder calls himself a lucky survivor. So very true...I hope that I can make my son see his strengths as John has seen them. An excellent read for anyone living with Aspergians and Aspergians themselves.Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's...more info
- A wonderful book
As the mother of 2 boys affected by autism (and a former special education teacher), I highly recommend this book. Mr. Robison gives us insight into his thoughts and feelings; and he does it brilliantly, with funny stories of his many adventures. What a treat for those of us whose loved ones are unable to communicate such things. My 11 year old saw the book and asked what I was reading, so I read him the "holes" story. He literally fell off his chair laughing(and has decided that "varmint" would be an excellent name for his little brother). When I told him that the author was affected by autism, my son said "Really? Do you think I could even be a famous author when I grow up?". I think any reader would find this book to be entertaining and insightful; in our family it also gave a sense of pride, inspiration, and hope for the future. ...more info
- Growing up with Asperger's
Ever since I learned about Asperger's syndrome, I have been wanting to know more. When I read the first review of the book in People magazine I knew I had to read it. I sensed that someone I loved very much just might have Aspergian traits and I hoped this book would answer some questions I had. I expected more of a textbook nonfiction book and was quite surprised to find that it was a tale of growing up, outside the definition of "normal." I sat down with a highlighter expecting to mark the most relevant parts and just read with serious attention rather than studying the facts. To always wonder why you aren't accepted would challenge anyone, but John Elder Robison learned how to survive and grow to accept his differences and overcome criticism of teachers, family and friends. He found his own happiness and was able to accept who he was and become successful in his own world and share his intellect and thought processes with all of us. Can I actually say that my loved one has Aspergian traits now that I've read the book? No, but I have learned some ways to deal with a highly intellectual, very analytical and logical human being. Thank you, John Elder....more info
- Thank you, thank you, thank you John!
This is exactly what we needed! Awareness, understanding, and the perspective that is MOST important but not heard from enough. This book is funny, easy to read, and so easy to relate to if you are lucky enough to be loved by & love an Aspie :). ...more info
- An entertaining read, but...
First, I would like to mention I am a big fan of Augusten Burroughs and I own all of his books. I would not have read this book so soon if not for that connection.
I enjoyed this book. I finished it in two days. This book is very funny. It is full of tales of mischief, mixed in with some serious and quite introspective material. This is the funniest book that I have read in a long time.
I personally believe that this author did not write the book himself. It is too similar in tone and pacing to Burrough's material to be unique. Yes, they are brothers, but two very different ones with lives that took very different paths. He may have contributed personal stories and thoughts, but I do not believe he wrote it on his own.
What really sealed the deal for me that this is more about attention getting than a real memoir is where he goes into detail about his wife. He wonders aloud whether he got the right one. Maybe one of her other sisters would be better. How can he objectively tell? He is reducing his mate to cattle or other livestock. While a person with Asperger's may in fact have these thoughts, a person such as Mr. Robison who claims to have learned how non-autism spectrum people think would know that to bring this up would be seen as denigrating towards the person with whom he claims to be the happiest he has ever been with. No, this is not introspection, this is a loud shout for attention.
It is also interesting to note that in Mr. Robison's blog, he makes a comment that implies he is single. Perhaps his wife was not so pleased with his depiction.
Perhaps Mr. Burroughs has come to a place where he has milked all the stories he can out of his own life for memoirs and has now set about sensationalizing others' lives to get published. Whatever it is, this book has in the end disappointed me and greatly dropped my opinion of Burroughs....more info
- Book was Disappointment
As a Single Mother with an adult son who has Asperger's (his father died when he was 7) I thought this book would give me some insight. What I read was an insult to the people who suffer from this illness.
There is no way he could travel on airplanes, work for rock bands, etc. Asperger's are very sensitive to lights, sounds, smells and very fearful of many things.
There are much better books out there that explains the true condition of Asperger's. It is a very difficult illness as they cannot communicate with other people. They don't understand the concepts of having a normal conversation. Most of the time they are rude, takes over the entire conversation, talks about things no one else cares about, are obsessed with a particular subject and that is all the talk about for weeks until something else becomes their obsession. They never just 'fit in'.
This book contradicts so many symptoms. I feel the author does have some sort of illness but it does not sound like Asperger's to me and is very misleading.
- Interesting look into a private mind
Having read and enjoyed several of Augusten Burroughs' books, I was curious as to how good a writer John Elder would be. I also wanted to know more about Aspergers since my youngest grandson is thought to be on the autism spectrum. I found the book more than informative. John Elder's writing is more functional and easier to read than his brother--not to disparage his brother, but to point out the difference in writing styles. I found myself wanting to continue reading to "see what happens next." As a Georgia resident, I enjoyed his references to Georgia. My late husband's family was from Cairo, Ga. and my son is an attorney in Lawrenceville. I am fascinated by memoirs having written my own. I find some to be too bogged down in frivolity and unnecessary description. I prefer to have the story written in a straight forward manner, as this one is. I hope mine is as easy for readers to read as this book was for me.
Sandee CarlisleForgetting the Hurt, Remember the Hope: A Memoir of Endurance...more info
- Humorous Hijinks From an Asperger's Life
"Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison is a compelling look at Asperger's Syndrome through the life of one who never let his condition slow him down. Robison, the brother of memoirist Augusten Burroughs, is a compelling storyteller and perhaps more interesting than his struggles and discoveries as a person living with Asperger's are his insights into his messed-up childhood, his hjinks as a young man living on his own, his sound engineering work with KISS, and his years in the corporate world. An enjoyable read. Grade: B....more info
- "Woof" I loved it.
A young boy learns by trial and error to be a productive part of society. He overcomes many challenges (physical abuse from his drunk father, a mentally unstable Mother, difficulty with peers, later on in life he learns he has asperger's) and succeeds.
My favorite parts of the book were his "functional naming", pranks he plays on family members, teachers, co workers, and how he protects himself from snakes. I laughed out loud. I loved it. I hope to read more books by this author. His brother Augusten Burroughs is also an exellent story teller....more info
- Look Me In The Eye
Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Aspergers by John Robison ***1/2
Look Me In The Eye can at times be hard to swallow. While it is interesting to see how the disease effected Robison's life that is as far as the book goes with merit. Being the brother of well known and highly regarded author Augusten Burroughs he had big shoes to fill, and for his first outing he does fine. Also being his brother it is very interesting to see how the two both came out of their childhoods some what normal.
As they are brothers a lot of the stories told here have been told by Burroughs in his work before this. So the reader would hope to get a new perspective on the events and see it from someone else view. Well they are told the same way making the book seem boring at times.
Robison's stories often become very technical (due in part to his disorder), making some of the stories boring. The parts and things he used to build something are not nearly as interesting as what he did with those parts and he doesn't get that. This is also in part to his disorder.
But to see his struggle with his parents on top of his personal demons is fascinating and entertaining as a memoir. To see a man overcome his demons is always uplifting and wonderful to witness. For that Look Me In The Eye is not a total loss.
If you have the patience this is a nice read as well as an eye opening one...no pun intended. ...more info
- Just Read It!
Growing up with a younger brother with Pervasive Developmental Disabilities, I've admired the accomplishments of many differently abled folks and their families.
John likes to say, "when you've met one Aspergian, you've met one Aspergian." He is at a very unique place along the spectrum - a gifted story teller, an accomplished businessman, a technical wizard, a good father and a loving husband."
John's story appeals to young and old but particularly the young. It encourages those coping with their own differences and educates classmates and friends.
I've purchased more copies of this book as gifts than any other in recent years.
It is worth your time, read it!...more info
I read this book so that I could get a better understanding of the experience of an Asberger's person who shares my life. The book was a quick and enjoyable read, but more importantly, it changed the way I view people who are "odd". Instead of dismissing someone who acts in apparently inappropriate ways, I wonder what the situation looks like through their eyes, and how actions that appear bizarre to me might make perfect sense if I could see it their way.
I also was grateful to see that childhood challenges related to autism/asbergers will not prevent someone from having a full, rich life as an adult....more info
- Enlightening book!
This book is a must read for anyone who is living with or knows someone with Asbergers. The descriptions of his feelings and life experiences gives great insight into how Aspergian minds work. It makes it much easier to understand the Aspergian and why they do and say the things they do. At the same time, it's entertaining. This book gives you a little bit of everything, comedy, drama, information, etc. I highly recommend it....more info
- Thought Provoking
Augusten Burroughs isn't the only story teller in the Robison clan. His brother, John Elder, wrote his memoir with prompting from Augusten, and I must say I was enthralled. I've never read any of Burroughs' stuff, but I saw a bit of the movie Running with Scissors. After reading this, I'm excited to grab a couple of his memoirs.
John Elder grew up with machines as friends, and little clue as to why none of his peers wanted to befriend him. As he grew older, his parents got odder and meaner (his dad an alcoholic, his mom sinking into mental illness), and it seems he was given free reign to experiment with tools to his heart's content. The voracity of his brain showed early on, it seemed only his social skills were somewhat lacking.
At 16, he dropped out of school and left his parents' home, and ended up getting his GED. He moved in with a band of his called Fat and worked on their sound for a while before deciding that living with ten people was a bit too much for him. At some point soon after, he met the guitarist for KISS and began designing and implementing tricks for his guitars. Smoking guitars, exploding guitars, you name it, he could create it. This too began to wear on him after a while and he began the pursuit of finding a real job with steady income. This led him to engineering at Milton Bradley, where he designed and created several toys. After leaving this line of work and setting up his own business working on and restoring luxury cars, Robison met a therapist who he became good friends with, and who ultimately diagnosed him with Asperger's at the age of 40.
This book was incredibly fascinating, although at times a bit difficult to follow, because it did seem to jump from place to place and back again, but if you read each chapter as a short story it is a lot easier. At times straightforward, and at times showcasing the vulnerability he felt as a youth, this book is not to be missed. I laughed out loud at the chapter talking about his wife, and his mind using logic to wonder whether he got the best mate out of the three sisters....more info
- Look Me in the Eye
I have a 10 year old son with Aspergers and I can relate to almost every page. John Elder Robinson is a great story teller and relates his own experiences very well. I feel like I'm looking in the head of my own son when John Elder tells how he felt during different situations. I would recomend this book to every parent of an Aspergers child. I will also recomend it to my doctor who has been telling me for seven years he will teach me about Aspergers 15 minutes at a time....more info
- Loved it!!!
This was such an amazing book. It really helped me understand Asperger's, and yet John made his experiences hysterical. He is a great writer and I would reccomend the book to anyone....more info
- Detached, analytical, unemotional; Asperger's.
That Robison's book is a thought-provoking and unsettling read is evident by the wide range of opinions about it. I would suggest that anyone who is not familiar with Asperger's Syndrome learn a little about it *before* reading Look Me In The Eye. Even a trip to wikipedia would suffice.
One of the most bewildering things about a person with Asperger's is that even though they may look like anyone else you know, when you do interact with them you may find them completely self-absorbed, cruel and thoughtless. (This can be especially true before a correct diagnosis.) The fact that many of the reviewers giving this book low marks recognized Robison's distance and detachment in his narrative IS the best evidence that the book is all about Asperger's. The brain of a writer with Asperger's is wired to not care about anyone and that includes YOU!
It is true that due to other family issues, especially alcoholism, this book does not present a simple, clinical snapshot of Asperger's Syndrome. Mr. Robison's perceptions of the world were also tied up with his family members' problems and an extremely volatile home life, so as a reader it may be hard to distinguish between elements of Asperger's and the general insanity of the household. Once you get past that fact, though, the book is a powerful read.
A reader who understands basics facts about Asperger's before beginning the book will likely be able to see Mr. Robison's point of view for what it is: the same world you look at, perceived through a very different lens. Unless a reader has Asperger's, has an immediate family member with it, or is a professional working in this field, it may be hard to believe some of the events this writer describes. Don't let that (or negative Amazon reviews) dissuade you from hearing Robison's story, and learning a little about the complex family interaction and social situations a person with Asperger's may experience.
- Entertaining and positive
As many other reviewers have said, this is a good read and an entertaining picture of what it's like to see the world through the author's eyes. But he also makes some very important points about Asperger's, namely:
1. Aspies are socially inept because they lack innate abilities that we take for granted: how to pick up on behavioral cues, empathy, etc.
2. They're not sociopaths; they're interested in other people and want to join in social activities, but they don't instinctively know how to behave in those situations and often say or do exactly the wrong thing.
3. Because they're logical and intelligent, Aspies can be taught the appropriate social behavior. Robison figured it out for himself in late childhood, and from then on he was able to make friends, but having some guidance at an early age would have spared him years of frustration.
I read the book because I suspected that a young man of my acquaintance is an Aspie -- and, after reading it, I'm sure he is. Unfortunately, his family seems convinced that he's hopelessly "weird" and "antisocial" and doomed to a life on the margins of society. I plan to recommend the book to his relatives, because I'm sure that if he's diagnosed and trained, he'll be able to lead a full, productive life....more info
- Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
Excellent! Well written, imaginative, and very informative. As we have had a member of our family recently
diagnosed with Asperger's it was also extremely helpful. ...more info
- A great book for anyone with an Aspergian in their lives
We have an amazing and gifted son with Aspergers.
I first heard about this book listening to NPR on my way to work one day. When I arrived at work, two of my colleagues had heard John as well and made sure to tell me about John and his book. That weekend, my in-laws visited from New York and my mother-in-law already was halfway through the book. That Sunday evening I got my own copy before a business trip and read it on a flight from Boston to San Jose. I could not put it down.
I recommend this book for parents, teachers, grand parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, girlfriends, boyfriends, school bus drivers, neighbors, colleagues, managers and anyone else who interacts with a person in the Autism spectrum.
This book gave me tremendous insights to my son and how my son views his world, which is very differnt than how I view mine. I was given the lense or decoder ring that helped me see (or at least begin to understand)what my son sees and feels, does not see and does not feel. I was so entertained and moved by John's book that I sent him an email of thanks immediately upon arrival at the San Jose airport.
When John was a preteen and teen, he wanted to make friends but did not know how, which is the opposite of most perceptions of children with Asperger's. In John's adult years, he now wishes that his parents and other mentors in his life pushed him more to engage socially. I took this to heart. This has proven true with my son who just recently said that he wants to make friends but is afraid to fail and that he may be viewed as goofy. All kids feel this way, I know, but it is so profound and acute with my son and John. This and many other passages in the book helped me tremendously.
This is an entertaining and at times dark and funny book you should read.
- Good, but not what I expected
This is a very entertaining book about a mans life. It is not a book that really talks much about Aspergers. Being the mom of a child with Aspergers Syndrome, I was hoping the book would talk a little more about how he dealt with his life having AS, but it is more just about his very eccentric life. Although it is a fun read, it wasn't what I was hoping for. If you are looking to connect with this book because you or someone you love has AS, You may be slightly dissapointed....more info
- The unique perspective of someone diagnosed with Asperger's
"I realized I was standing outside, next to a pool full of kids and sunbathing parents, in my underwear, waving a smoking revolver." To many, perhaps this scenario would be considered a sign of insanity; for Robison it is one of many true to life gems that enrich his tale. Written by the brother of Augusten Borroughs (of Running with Scissors fame), this memoir shows another side of the family story. Yet beyond being just another familial chronicle, this work of what Robison refers to as an "Aspergian," or someone diagnosed with Asperger's, a syndrome on the autism spectrum. Through clear explanations and life examples we gain insight into the difficulty someone with Asperger's has in reading and reacting to social cues like that of facial expressions or conversational nuances, understandings that most of us naturally take for granted.
Along the way, Robison takes us through a childhood full of social missteps and an especially challenging set of parents, not failing to include experiences from a job on the road with KISS, as well as a job working for 'the man' at corporate Milton Bradley, rounded out with tales from the ultimate prankster. A book not for the faint of heart, it is interspersed with undoubtedly dark moments amidst his personal triumphs.
The author's writing flows intuitively, reflecting his preference for a utilitarian approach seen in many aspects of his work and lifestyle. He is clear, forthright and is a trusted voice while coloring, well, a colorful life story. If his brother's memoir Running with Scissors was hard to believe, it could be said that this memoir confirms a youth where truth is much stranger than fiction.
Robison proves to be a sort of hero, actually. He survives an abusive childhood, as well as a lifetime of being undiagnosed, a factor that left him feeling quite different from the norm without having the comfort of a concrete reason. Yet, despite this condition that brings along severe social challenges, he is a successful individual of his own right and trains himself on how to work within society's standard operating procedures.
Ultimately, this is the story of an individual who has learned to live in his own truth and has successfully harnessed the humor found in even the darkest of moments. Although the final few chapters feel like a choppy addition to the storyline continuum, laughing aloud at various intervals throughout the book is practically a guarantee. Hopefully this book will reach a broader audience spreading awareness and improving understanding about Asperger's; although, it is still important to remember that this is a rendering of just one man's experience.
Quill Says: If you like peeking into the unique adventures and thought processes of another person, this book will quench that thirst.
- A Favorite Book
My husband Todd and I both read Look Me in the Eye and loved it. I was delighted with John's humor and wit when he told stories about his family and creating guitars for various rock groups, including Kiss. My husband is a musician, so he had a particular affection for John's stories. I smiled through most of this book and also learned a lot along the way. John is definitely a "real" and lovable person. Whether you know someone with Asperger's Syndrome or not, Look Me in the Eye will give you a new perspective on people and on life, and you will have a great time reading it. ...more info
- Look me in the eye, My Life with Aspergers
Excellent book, good insights into what life is like for an Aspy. Reccomend for all families who are effected by this curve that life throws us....more info
- Uplifting and insightful
I bought this book at an airport bookshop when I was going on a rare trip without the children and realised I had nothing to read. I had several half-read books at home - all textbooks about autism and related issues, as I had had two children diagnosed with ASDs in the year before (one with autism, one with Aspergers). I had decided to buy a novel for a change, and the cover of this book caught my eye as I passed through the autobiographical section. I couldn't help myself! I thought "oh well, it's one step away from the textbooks I guess".
I was very glad I bought it though - I had never read a first hand account of being an Aspergian and it was amazing. John Elder's honest and detailed accounts of what it was like growing up were at times hilarious and at times heartwrenching but at a certain level I found I could relate to him, having been a bit of an outcast, possibly Aspergian and definitely with some tendencies myself! I found it uplifting to read a story of success when most of the literature I'd read was spelling out a fairly grim future for my children.
I've passed it on to my family to read and it's currently being read by the one who I feel needs it the most - my sister - who I hope will see something of herself in there and maybe find the answer she has been looking for. I knew there was something interesting going on when she told me that after reading the first part of the book she kind of felt like doing something crazy ... "like burying her sister head first in a hole?" I asked. Yo'll get it once you read the book....more info
- Different kind of book..
Do not read this book and expect to learn all about Asperger's. It is a memoir of the author's life with it. If you are looking for an education on AS, then look to a medical text or web site. Other reviewers are complaining about that aspect, but this is not a textbook. It is an interesting memoir written from the point of view of someone whose point of view is very different and unique from the rest of the world. Other reviewers are also complaining that the book doesn't flow and the writing isn't very colorful. That is true, but it is because of the author's AS. If the editor encouraged the author to change his style then it wouldn't really be written with the outlook of someone with Asperger's Syndrome. The book is unlike most other books because there really is no overall theme, some of the writing is choppy, some parts go too much into description about minute things, but I found this to be interesting because it gave me a glimpse into the mind of someone with AS. The book is not incredibly entertaining, funny, or enthralling, but it is different. Just be prepared for something unusual when reading it. The author's life isn't incredibly out of the ordinary, but the way he sees and does things are. I enjoyed this book, but I can't say that I would read a second book by this author....more info
- robison's look me in the eye: great perspective
As a parent of a child with asperger's syndrome, I found this an excellent read and was able to recognize and see a lot of the thought process behind some of my son's actions. As a person who has worked in special education at the high school level in academic support for moderate learning disabilities, I was able to recognize some of my more 'stubborn' students and find ways to talk with them and work with them when they were so resistant. I've also worked in elementary support for many years prior to my hs job or my current private tutoring, and this book opened me up to their point of view, as well as my son's.
As a huge reader, I found Robison's book extremely entertainingly written, with a great sense of humor and unusual perspective. The story of growing up feeling so alone in his mind and in his family was heartbreaking, but ultimately very hopeful as he navigated his way through the world very independently. I hope that my son will be able to do the same, but with less tragic circumstances of origin. I hope that his future in expressiing himself will be as successful as Robison's. And it sure was fun reading about working on the tech tricks of the old KISS concerts!...more info
- A great book dealing with Asperger's
A great book about Asperger's and succeeding despite being classified as being "different". Robison's life as a child and adult living with Asperger's is told with the unique insight only an insider to the condition has but he also fills this book with humor. Some of the later stories about how he relates to his son are very touching and poignant as well. This is a must-read for anyone living with someone with Asperger's or just interested in the subject. This is also a great companion-piece to go with his brother's book, "Running with Scissors." It is a very enjoyable, readable book but also full of interesting insights on Asperger's and so an easy way to be introduced to this subject. An overall good read!...more info
- Audio 5cd Compulsive listening
John Elder Robison has Asperger's Syndrome, but it wasn't diagnosed until he was in this thirties. Asperger's Syndrome wasn't even understood until the early 1980's. Aspergers is a form of autism. Most with Aspergers are usually highly intelligent BUT have a difficult time communicating with other people and tend to be loners. When they do express themselves it normally all comes out wrong which offends other people.
John Elders mother was mental problems and the father was an alcoholic.
This is a memoir not a fictional story so it doesn't flow like other books. The writing is a bit choppy at times and at other times goes into too much details. So what. John Elders mind doesn't work like ours and shouldn't be criticised for not having a brilliant writing form.
I really enjoyed the audio and would recommend it to anyone. John Elder proves different is not always wrong. ...more info