Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers Info

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In Be Different, New York Times
bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye shares a new batch of
endearing stories about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult
years, giving the reader a rare window into the Autistic
mind.

 
In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the
Eye
, John Elder Robison described growing up with Autism Spectrum
Disorder at a time when the diagnosis didn’t exist. He was
intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy
makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures
and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non
sequiturs and avoid eye contact.
By the time he was diagnosed at
age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that
helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life.

In each story, he offers practical advice for anyone who feels
“different” on how to improve the weak communication and
social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of
their often remarkable gifts. With his trademark honesty and
unapologetic eccentricity, Robison addresses questions
like:
• How to read others and follow their behaviors when
in uncertain social situations
• Why manners matter

How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult
skills
• How to deal with bullies
• When to make an
effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity
• How to
identify special gifts and use them to your advantage
Every
person has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the
capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their friends and
family. Be Different will help readers and those they
love find their path to success.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers:

5

Mar 02, 2011

I finished Be Different almost a month ago, but I’ve been thinking about it all this time, trying to decide what to write. Robison’s latest book is as well-written and entertaining as his first book, Look Me In the Eye. I think I’ve hesitated to write about Be Different because I see so much of myself in the anecdotes. I see more of my son, which makes sense, as he’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s, but there’s a lot of me in there, too. Even having acknowledged several months ago that I have I finished Be Different almost a month ago, but I’ve been thinking about it all this time, trying to decide what to write. Robison’s latest book is as well-written and entertaining as his first book, Look Me In the Eye. I think I’ve hesitated to write about Be Different because I see so much of myself in the anecdotes. I see more of my son, which makes sense, as he’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s, but there’s a lot of me in there, too. Even having acknowledged several months ago that I have some Aspie tendencies, it’s still a little weird to see that many similarities. I’m what Robison calls a “Proto-Aspergian”, someone with a few Aspie traits, but isn’t completely Aspergian (Robison’s name for Aspies). Neurotypicals are “Nypicals”.

I don’t usually read other reviews before I write a review (and this isn’t really a review), but as I said before, I was at a loss for what to say. Until I saw a reviewer who had written that he didn’t finish the book because it was written just for Aspergians and their families, and that the advice seemed simplistic.

Honestly, I think everyone should read this book. I guess it’s pretty, well, simplistic, but I think if people would take the time to understand a little about others who aren’t like them, differences wouldn’t seem so scary or bad. If you’re a teacher or in any kind of profession where you’re around a lot of kids, reading this book will help you understand that not all those “bad” kids are bad. (Kids rarely are, but that’s for another post.) For those with friends or family members with Asperger’s, it really does help to read things written by an Aspergian. For Aspie kids, while they may realize that there is something different about them, they don’t really understand all the ways in which they think differently than Nypicals. How can they? It’s all they’ve ever known. That’s just the way things are for them. So hearing it from someone who is able to articulate it is helpful.

On a side note, Robison writes a lot about music, and I’m not a musician, but I think both his books would be enjoyed by musicians. (He used to design exploding guitars for KISS, in case you didn’t know.)

As for the reviewer’s claim that the book’s advice is simplistic, all I can say is that he obviously isn’t close to anyone with Asperger’s. If he were, he would know that, in some situations, Aspies really do need basic advice that sounds intuitive to Nypicals. The example the review gives is, “Manners are important even if they don't make sense. Read Emily Post.” That may sound ridiculous to many, but it makes perfect sense to me in relation to myself and my son. I think if you’re a Nypical reading the book, you can learn something if you keep in mind that the book was written mainly for other Aspergians.

You don’t have to read Look Me In the Eye first to understand Be Different, but I think it adds a perspective to the book that you wouldn’t have otherwise had. And reading in Be Different about John Elder teasing his younger brother wouldn’t be quite as funny without knowing all the tricks John Elder played on him when they were young… and knowing that even after all this time, he’s still falling for it.
...more
3

Nov 21, 2015

I specifically picked this up because it's by the same author as Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, which was a hilarious, clever and excellently written memoir I stumbled upon earlier this year. But, dudes, this book is not as good. Nopity nope.

For starters, it repeats a lot of the stuff in LMitE. I growl at repetition, I do, so that was instantly dull reading for me.

Secondly, he talks more about the technical side of Aspergers/Autism. So things that define a person with ASD. But, I specifically picked this up because it's by the same author as Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, which was a hilarious, clever and excellently written memoir I stumbled upon earlier this year. But, dudes, this book is not as good. Nopity nope.

For starters, it repeats a lot of the stuff in LMitE. I growl at repetition, I do, so that was instantly dull reading for me.

Secondly, he talks more about the technical side of Aspergers/Autism. So things that define a person with ASD. But, at the same time he coupled it with life stories that seemed really narrow and specific. He acknowledged that there is a "spectrum" (so no two people with ASD really present the same) but I felt his stories and the way he phrased things contradicted that fact? He also expressly, at one point, says you can get over sensitivities if you work hard at it. That is not true for everyone. Nopity nope again.

I really enjoyed the last chapter, though, when he went into the psychology side instead of all the stuff about his inventing genius (which I enjoyed reading about in the first book...but I didn't particularly want to read it again). ...more
3

Jan 23, 2013

Good overall content, but author fails to acknowledge female readers. I didn't expect him to offer dating advice for girls the way he does for boys because he, after all, had never been a girl. It would be nice, however, if he didn't alienate female readers entirely in those moments he talked about "girls"--and there were a lot of them--especially since this book was purported to function as a "guide" for all Aspergians and misfits, which I presumed to include females as well as males. His son's Good overall content, but author fails to acknowledge female readers. I didn't expect him to offer dating advice for girls the way he does for boys because he, after all, had never been a girl. It would be nice, however, if he didn't alienate female readers entirely in those moments he talked about "girls"--and there were a lot of them--especially since this book was purported to function as a "guide" for all Aspergians and misfits, which I presumed to include females as well as males. His son's Aspergian girlfriend apparently helped him with the female perspective, but I did not see any evidence of that.

Further, author clearly subscribes to the popular definition of success (high income, married life, a degree of popularity), which I'm not sure most Aspergians do. My indifference toward those things, in fact, are the reason I've always been "different," and while it's easy for people to look down on or even feel sorry for me for lacking things they perceive as integral to happiness, I'm fairly content with not having them. Author's personal values, to me, only reinforce the belief that there's something inherently wrong with people who don't care for "nypical" desires and that it's vital that they change. I disagree. ...more
4

Jun 12, 2012

I'm an Aspie-loving Momma who feels this book must be read by anyone who is personally impacted by Asperger's Syndrome - as the Aspie, as a teacher, or as a family member. It was tremendously insightful to peek into the reasoning of an Aspergian as a tool toward understanding. I have begged my daughter to read it due to the continuing thread throughout the book that an Aspie is truly capable of more than the average individual if depression or discouragement is overcome. Through relating and I'm an Aspie-loving Momma who feels this book must be read by anyone who is personally impacted by Asperger's Syndrome - as the Aspie, as a teacher, or as a family member. It was tremendously insightful to peek into the reasoning of an Aspergian as a tool toward understanding. I have begged my daughter to read it due to the continuing thread throughout the book that an Aspie is truly capable of more than the average individual if depression or discouragement is overcome. Through relating and acknowledging the painful experiences of his own childhood, the author encourages fellow-Aspergians. He also gently introduces the concept that Aspies can modify behavior to the extent needed to do well in the work environment or social settings without altering the core of their own personalities and inclinations. Robison is pro-Aspergian from both sides of the coin - encouraging to embrace the differences and find how to excel in the benefits while also acknowledging that some self-restraint and temporary tweaks of one's behavior will open doors for those benefits to be appreciated by others. I truly enjoyed the author's story-telling approach that literally opened his internal dialogue to the world. Sometimes I have found it difficult to understand why my daughter thinks or acts the way she does, but Robison certainly educated me on the subject and I know my parenting has been and will be changed by that insight. ...more
5

Apr 22, 2011

I felt affirmed by this book, and the highlights I made in the Kindle version are going to be handy bookmarks to remind myself of the author's advice about improving my social awareness. All of us in my family are "Aspergians" to different extents, and the more I read makes me realize that my mother also is on the spectrum, which made it difficult for me to get n-typical feedback about how to get by when I was growing up. Books like these from the "autism speaks" community (including Temple I felt affirmed by this book, and the highlights I made in the Kindle version are going to be handy bookmarks to remind myself of the author's advice about improving my social awareness. All of us in my family are "Aspergians" to different extents, and the more I read makes me realize that my mother also is on the spectrum, which made it difficult for me to get n-typical feedback about how to get by when I was growing up. Books like these from the "autism speaks" community (including Temple Grandin's Unwritten Rules of Social Discourse) take away a lot of the stigma I've felt over the years at my unease and conflicts in social situations, and my sense of being from another planet. The most comforting things Robison says are "our brains are complete; it's just the interconnections that are different," and "Delayed isn't never." As the mom of two Aspie girls and with an engineer husband, this book has helped clarify how I can give them a nudge into better connectivity with the neurotypical world, as well as allowing me to step back and assess how can use strengths to compensate for social weaknesses. ...more
4

Apr 22, 2012

Having an aspergers son, I found it very helpful in pointing out lots of things too small and detaled to go into here, but it gave me a further insight into how aspie kids view the world and its social rules. The author, Being an undiagnosed aspie until he grew up, realised he was different and learned to copy and follow and cope. More than that he listened to the things that attracted him and made a career for himself. Descriptive, and matter of fact, it's well written and takes you inside the Having an aspergers son, I found it very helpful in pointing out lots of things too small and detaled to go into here, but it gave me a further insight into how aspie kids view the world and its social rules. The author, Being an undiagnosed aspie until he grew up, realised he was different and learned to copy and follow and cope. More than that he listened to the things that attracted him and made a career for himself. Descriptive, and matter of fact, it's well written and takes you inside the mind of someone on the inside looking out at what we call "normal" and at the things that we take for granted that "make sense" because we've been taught it does. When he describes how he sees so much of our customs and habits, a lot of them actually don't make sense. (to me anyway) Would recommend it to anyone trying to learn more about this condition. ...more
2

Apr 26, 2014

Eh. I wasn't impressed by either the advice given or the writer's description of his life with autism spectrum disorder. Granted, he grew up in the 1970s, but his problems with girls seemed to be based in objectifying girls rather than Aspbergers (seriously, why do guys, no matter how geeky, neuro-atypical, awkward or socially inept, only want to approach the PRETTY girls? Why do they all feel they deserve cheerleaders and never look for the girls who are themselves geeky or awkward? It's really Eh. I wasn't impressed by either the advice given or the writer's description of his life with autism spectrum disorder. Granted, he grew up in the 1970s, but his problems with girls seemed to be based in objectifying girls rather than Aspbergers (seriously, why do guys, no matter how geeky, neuro-atypical, awkward or socially inept, only want to approach the PRETTY girls? Why do they all feel they deserve cheerleaders and never look for the girls who are themselves geeky or awkward? It's really annoying). I also found that much of this book was just too individual to be interesting or useful to someone who is trying to relate to those who are neuro-atypical ...more
4

Oct 08, 2011

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robison is a treasure-for people on the autism spectrum, their friends, families, teachers, and, maybe, for everyone interested in the different ways people are wired in this world and how that feels from the inside. It is also, I suspect, a useful self-help book, a sharing from one person on the spectrum to others who might want to figure out how better to live in a neurotypical world with some degree of comfort and happiness.

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robison is a treasure-for people on the autism spectrum, their friends, families, teachers, and, maybe, for everyone interested in the different ways people are wired in this world and how that feels from the inside. It is also, I suspect, a useful self-help book, a sharing from one person on the spectrum to others who might want to figure out how better to live in a neurotypical world with some degree of comfort and happiness.

Relationship advice: being the chosen not the chooser-There are millions of people in the world, & if I present myself properly, plenty of them will choose to connect with me.

Amazement at the different clothes makes-discovered late but embraced.

Studying others: watch first, to fit in.

Lots of helpful tips: use "over-focusing" aspergerian strategy to cope with sensitivity issues; find a safe place to relax in; find, enjoy, & develop personal strengths while at the same time always being open to learning & changing: life can get better.
...more
2

Oct 16, 2011

So, this was by an aspergian. Let me tell you, reading through it, half the stuff, like how to deal with other people, he could have learned from reading Dale Carnegie. I'm glad to hear that having a diagnosis for his behavioral differences made him feel better about himself, but it seems that he lived his life to the fullest without the diagnosis, and having found out earlier might have changed the way he lived his life, hence he would not have made the strides that he did. I also felt that he So, this was by an aspergian. Let me tell you, reading through it, half the stuff, like how to deal with other people, he could have learned from reading Dale Carnegie. I'm glad to hear that having a diagnosis for his behavioral differences made him feel better about himself, but it seems that he lived his life to the fullest without the diagnosis, and having found out earlier might have changed the way he lived his life, hence he would not have made the strides that he did. I also felt that he wrote down to people. The concepts were easy enough to understand and if he didn't like the term neurotypical, he could have said non-aspergians, instead of that gratingly annoying nypical. I'm just sayin'... ...more
2

Jun 05, 2016

I often say some books should be pamphlets. Now I know that some books should be blog posts.
4

Sep 08, 2018

Lent to me by a neighbor who thought I might like it. I happened to be reading Possible Side Effects which is written by the brother of John Elder Robison, so she thought I might enjoy reading this. I did, very much. The brothers are very different. John Elder was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 40 and it explained so much. John Elder's book is written in a way that teens could read and understand. He is reaching out to help people, Asperger and typical, to understand what Lent to me by a neighbor who thought I might like it. I happened to be reading Possible Side Effects which is written by the brother of John Elder Robison, so she thought I might enjoy reading this. I did, very much. The brothers are very different. John Elder was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 40 and it explained so much. John Elder's book is written in a way that teens could read and understand. He is reaching out to help people, Asperger and typical, to understand what Asperger's is and how to use its gift of focus and obsessive interest in a particular thing to attain success, and how to defeat the problems of over-stimulation and touch sensitivity.
Has anyone else read this book, and thought, damn, I didn't know I was on the spectrum!
Actually, I'm not, I don't think, but there are those places in the book where I said,
I recognize myself. Very interesting reading. ...more
4

Aug 06, 2018

I believe this is a book everyone should read to get an inside view of what it is like to live with Aspergers. You see it in the writing, you see it in the thoughts, and you see it in the stories. This will help anyone see how the thought process is very literal and seemingly simplistic, but with a whole lot of complexity behind it. I believe the simplistic nature of the writing is due to the fact that the emotional aspect is not on the surface in the writing. John does feel emotions like I believe this is a book everyone should read to get an inside view of what it is like to live with Aspergers. You see it in the writing, you see it in the thoughts, and you see it in the stories. This will help anyone see how the thought process is very literal and seemingly simplistic, but with a whole lot of complexity behind it. I believe the simplistic nature of the writing is due to the fact that the emotional aspect is not on the surface in the writing. John does feel emotions like everyone else, but his first reaction seems to be a literal interpretation to his environment and interactions. This gave me some insight into my son, but I wish I read it years ago. Maybe some things we learned through life and tears could have been easier for my family with this personal insight. ...more
5

Dec 01, 2017

Wonderful book! Gives you great insights and helps you see things in another way!
5

Aug 26, 2018

This is a handy book for people on the spectrum who are like Aspies, their families, friends, and teachers. The author tells how he used his neurological difference for his benefit as he grew up. He suggests ways that other Aspies and misfits can achieve success and peace!
0

Jun 06, 2017

I couldn't get through this. Maybe it's better if it's not on audio.
3

Aug 06, 2019

I'm glad that I've read it. Hearing how others managed to swim among NTs is always useful. I can't say that I caught some exact advice, or had aha moment, but still I may read it again after some time. Would recommend.
0

Sep 20, 2012

Review

“For anyone who has difficulty fitting in, this book is fantastic.”
—Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

“In a love poem to his wife, Pedro Salinas, the Spanish poet, wrote, ‘Glory to the differences / between you and me.’ John Robison teaches us to celebrate differences
like Salinas did, but also offers clear insight and valuable advice on how to cope with the challenges that being different can create. This book transcends the specific case of Asperger’s syndrome and is a

Review

“For anyone who has difficulty fitting in, this book is fantastic.”
—Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

“In a love poem to his wife, Pedro Salinas, the Spanish poet, wrote, ‘Glory to the differences / between you and me.’ John Robison teaches us to celebrate differences
like Salinas did, but also offers clear insight and valuable advice on how to cope with the challenges that being different can create. This book transcends the specific case of Asperger’s syndrome and is a lesson in humanity and the human condition.”
—Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

“Anyone with Asperger’s, if not everyone else, will derive knowledge and pleasure from the wonderful stories told in John Elder Robison’s newest book, Be Different. Clearly, John is one of our community’s leading voices.”
—Michael John Carley, author of Asperger’s from the Inside Out and executive director of GRASP and ASTEP

“Be Different is a fascinating and unique guide for young people who may be struggling with autism and feel ‘out of sync’ with the world around them. John shares personal insights about growing up, feeling apart from his peers, and learning to modify his socializing skills and harness his gifts to discover his path to a successful life.”
—Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks

“Robison offers down-to-earth life advice for his “Aspie” peers and their friends, families, and teachers...recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand Aspergian children and adults” —_Kirkus_

" ...provides incredibly helpful advice to families learning to live with these challenges. Robison’s clear writing provides substantial insight into the mind of someone whose disorder makes clarity very, very difficult...a valuable read."_‬--Booklist
_

Product Description

“I believe those of us with Asperger’s are here for a reason, and we have much to offer. This book will help you bring out those gifts.”

In his bestselling memoir, _Look Me in the Eye_, John Elder Robison described growing up with Asperger’s syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn’t exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non sequiturs and avoid eye contact.

By the time he was diagnosed at age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life. In _Be Different_, Robison shares a new batch of endearing stories
about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Aspergian mind.

In each story, he offers practical advice—for Aspergians and indeed for anyone who feels “different”—on how to improve the weak communication and social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of their often remarkable gifts. With his trademark honesty and unapologetic eccentricity, Robison addresses questions like:

• How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations
• Why manners matter
• How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills
• How to deal with bullies
• When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity
• How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage

Every person, Aspergian or not, has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their friends and family. _Be Different_ will help readers and those they love find their path to success.

...more
3

Dec 03, 2011

A book written directly for people with Aspergers and their parents and teachers, to explain how neurotypical people use social skills that can be learned to have satisfying productive lives. The author shares many of his life stories with his thoughts and reactions and how others perceived them. Then he describes when he decided to work on each of his skills and how he went about it.
Short chapters move the book along quickly. The stories generally show that the repeated efforts of others A book written directly for people with Aspergers and their parents and teachers, to explain how neurotypical people use social skills that can be learned to have satisfying productive lives. The author shares many of his life stories with his thoughts and reactions and how others perceived them. Then he describes when he decided to work on each of his skills and how he went about it.
Short chapters move the book along quickly. The stories generally show that the repeated efforts of others failed to impact him until whatever issue became important to him (manners, cleanliness, education). However, the author was diagnosed at age 40, and is hoping to spare others the depression and poor self image that came from years of failure by showing how his eventual modifications brought him the connection he was seeking all along.
He also voices a much needed perspective that things get better when people grow up, and that working on your weaknesses is good to do, but working on your strengths is the real key to success in life, and as such, it can be a real asset to think differently. ...more
4

Jul 26, 2013

Be Different is the second book by American author and Aspergian, John Elder Robison. When his memoir, Look Me In The Eye: My life With Asperger’s became a publishing success, no-one was more surprised than Robison himself. When it began to be adopted by certain schools, Robison was asked for a book with more insight into the condition, and Be Different is the result. In this book, Robison looks at the quirks of the Aspergian brain that can lead to disability or expertise, depending on how they Be Different is the second book by American author and Aspergian, John Elder Robison. When his memoir, Look Me In The Eye: My life With Asperger’s became a publishing success, no-one was more surprised than Robison himself. When it began to be adopted by certain schools, Robison was asked for a book with more insight into the condition, and Be Different is the result. In this book, Robison looks at the quirks of the Aspergian brain that can lead to disability or expertise, depending on how they are handled. While this may sound like a dry topic, Robison illustrates with captivating and often humorous examples from his own life, making this an easy and exceptionally interesting read. With intriguing chapter headings like Underwear With Teeth and Lobster Claws: Dealing with Bullies, Robison has all sorts of tips and tricks for Aspergians and those who deal with them. Robison’s rules for manners would serve everyone well, regardless of their neurological state. This is a fascinating look at a neurological condition that has the power to create a misfit but also an expert. ...more
5

Dec 10, 2011

Our family has struggled with more problems getting help for my son than will fit in this box. Finally, after he had serious enough issues, he was hospitalized this Spring. There, we received a very helpful diagnosis: Asperger's Syndrome. It made so much sense. At 12 years old, even he, felt a sense of relief. This book adds something else to that relief: hope and inspiration. This is a must read for parents of children on the Spectrum. Robison asserts that life gets easier for Aspergians as Our family has struggled with more problems getting help for my son than will fit in this box. Finally, after he had serious enough issues, he was hospitalized this Spring. There, we received a very helpful diagnosis: Asperger's Syndrome. It made so much sense. At 12 years old, even he, felt a sense of relief. This book adds something else to that relief: hope and inspiration. This is a must read for parents of children on the Spectrum. Robison asserts that life gets easier for Aspergians as they get older. We've already seen that in my son's life. The more he is able to communicate and understand himself, the more he is able to succeed in this world built for neurotypicals. He is easier to manage at 12 than he was at 5 in many respects. I'm very hopeful for his adulthood. We are going to read the book together this week. This is exactly the kind of inspiration and encouragement he needs to hear. ...more
2

Jun 25, 2013

Unfortunately this book has the feel of recycled material; that is, bits which didn't make the grade to be included in the bestseller "Look Me in the Eye". Perhaps it would serve as motivational to someone who was experiencing difficulties in navigating a "nypical" planet, however, this book seems caught in between being a memoir and being designed as a "self-help" manual. Most annoying of all is the layout: Large print sentences inset on most of the pages. I had to force myself to ignore these Unfortunately this book has the feel of recycled material; that is, bits which didn't make the grade to be included in the bestseller "Look Me in the Eye". Perhaps it would serve as motivational to someone who was experiencing difficulties in navigating a "nypical" planet, however, this book seems caught in between being a memoir and being designed as a "self-help" manual. Most annoying of all is the layout: Large print sentences inset on most of the pages. I had to force myself to ignore these insets because they are not additional material, but each is merely a sentence from that very page repeated in large print. This technique is used in magazines where there is a lot of print, to provide entry points for readers; however it is not used as such in books where one is supposedly going to read the whole page anyway. Or maybe one is only supposed to flip through and read the large print sentences. If so, one would save a lot of time. ...more
5

Dec 06, 2014

This book gives the first hand account of what it was like growing up with Asperger's syndrome before the diagnosis even existed. Robinson, diagnosed with AS at the age of 40, looks at things like fitting in, manners, dating, bullies, emotions and sensory overload (to name a few topics) and how it is different for him compared to those without AS - or "neurotypicals". He also gives advice and tips for how to be successful. As a mother of a teenager with Aspergers, this biography was touching, This book gives the first hand account of what it was like growing up with Asperger's syndrome before the diagnosis even existed. Robinson, diagnosed with AS at the age of 40, looks at things like fitting in, manners, dating, bullies, emotions and sensory overload (to name a few topics) and how it is different for him compared to those without AS - or "neurotypicals". He also gives advice and tips for how to be successful. As a mother of a teenager with Aspergers, this biography was touching, insightful and heart-wrenching. I saw my son and other children in his stories and even identified with some of the stories about social awkwardness myself. I quite enjoyed reading about Robinson's life and I would recommend this book to anyone who has AS, who thinks they may, or who loves someone who does. (Ashley, read Fall 2014) ...more
5

Mar 30, 2011

This is a very readable. The personal stories are at times very funny which makes what could be an uncomfortable subject to some approachable. The advice and insights into Aspberger Syndrome are extremely helpful. I have given a copy to my Aspberger daughter and very likely Aspberger husband to read. I think this book arrived at the right time for my teenaged daughter who is having a horrific time making friends. The message that life for someone with Aspbergers only gets better and better with This is a very readable. The personal stories are at times very funny which makes what could be an uncomfortable subject to some approachable. The advice and insights into Aspberger Syndrome are extremely helpful. I have given a copy to my Aspberger daughter and very likely Aspberger husband to read. I think this book arrived at the right time for my teenaged daughter who is having a horrific time making friends. The message that life for someone with Aspbergers only gets better and better with time is, I think, accurate and priceless.

My favorite topic in the book, which is repeated often, is that a kid with Apsbergers who is obsessed with a topic is called strange or weird an adult with Aspbergers with the same obsession is called a professional ...more
5

Mar 31, 2011

Great book! I just finished it, despite not having read his first one, Look Me in the Eye. I plan on reading that one soon.
I'm a fifteen-year-old with AS, and I really took a lot from this book. Several things he described pertained to my symptoms of AS perfectly, such as the dislike of certain sounds when other people made them, but being fine when he made them. This is me exactly. I found it very insightful, and it gave me immense hope for my future and my occupation after having problems with Great book! I just finished it, despite not having read his first one, Look Me in the Eye. I plan on reading that one soon.
I'm a fifteen-year-old with AS, and I really took a lot from this book. Several things he described pertained to my symptoms of AS perfectly, such as the dislike of certain sounds when other people made them, but being fine when he made them. This is me exactly. I found it very insightful, and it gave me immense hope for my future and my occupation after having problems with school for awhile. I hope John Elder Robison writes another one in the future; I would read it in a heartbeat. ...more
5

Oct 22, 2016

This is a great book! John Elder Robison is a smart man. It is so helpful and enlightening to read about why an Aspergian thinks and acts the way he does, and since Mr. Robison writes from personal experience, it is an amazing opportunity to step inside his mind. He is humorous and straightforward, and this book will stay with me for a long time.

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