This book wasn't all bad - there are some humorous stories and interesting observations on what it's like to have Asbergers, but on the whole, I found it slow and boring. It's often repetitive, the majority of the stories aren't remarkable at all and author's sense of humor which often tries to be cute or clever, in my opinion, usually fails. Portions of the book are extremely profane, others parts of the book that talk about his family life are depressing without many, or any redeeming qualities.
Very interesting and thoughtful account of life with Asperger's Syndrome. Provides great insight from which we can all benefit. This book serves as a nice reminder for us all to be more tolerant of differences, yet is never preachy.
Thank you for helping me understand the world of Asperger's as I embark on this journey with my 3 year old. Your insight will help change the trajectory of his life. I will be more conscientious of everything I do and say in his life and will advocate for him in all areas. The book helped me see the gift of Asperger's. Thank you for sharing your story with the world and this mama bear.
When John Elder returns to his home town, a town filled with painful memories, he sees it as a chance to right a wrong. I believe this was a turning point in his life. This has been encouraging to me as I have been forced to start over in my hometown as a single, 42 year old mother of an infant. It gives me, a typical adult, hope for better days for myself and my son.
When John Elder showed compassion and empathy for his dying father. That must have been a tremendous, personal, breakthrough. What courage, what persistence, what an example for humanity.
John Elder, I cry for your heartbreak and I celebrate your victories! May you always feel loved and important!
The author does not have any training in science, psychology, or logic; which is not a crime in itself, but he constantly uses "I'm autistic, so therefore I cannot help but think logically!" to explain away some very illogical lines of thought and fabricated narratives. As an autistic scientist myself, this drove me up the wall.
He comes up with a lot of mighty tempting narratives that sound pretty plausible, and states them as facts and logic (think: bad evolutionary psychology papers). Nobody is born with a solid grasp on logic or science, not even autistic people (although they might have a leg-up on the competition). This is why there is extensive coursework and schooling for these subjects.
I would have much preferred that the author frame this story as an interesting autobiography of somebody with a very weird and interesting life who happened to be autistic. Did his autism influence and affect his life and perception? Certainly it did, and that makes his accounts very interesting, but he should have left out his countless "autism teaching moments" where he pauses the story to say "now see, this is all because of my autism, clearly I had no choice and clearly I was the only logical one there."
I would have removed these parts, partly because they got repetitive and obnoxious, and mostly because there is no way to parse out how much of his reactions are due to his autism and how much are due to his traumatic and tumultuous childhood (or even some combination of both).
I love autism self-advocacy and I think it is very important, but he loves to make "scientific" and "psychiatric" evaluations of his actions post-hoc, when he doesn't have any training in these fields (and this is painfully obvious). Just as a woman is uniquely qualified to speak about her experiences and feelings as a woman, she cannot describe her own biology accurately unless she had received sufficient education in biology or performed sufficient biological studies and learned that way.
For these reasons, if you are interested in autism self-advocacy or you want to learn more about autism, I would suggest sticking to Rudy Simone or Temple Grandin instead. They are more scientifically-minded than John Elder Robison and are more versed in the nuances of autism and individual experiences. If you just want to read a fun autobiography from a man who had an incredibly unusual (even for an Aspergian) life and you don't necessarily need to learn anything about autism, then Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's will fit the bill. Because don't get me wrong, it was still a fun and exciting narrative.
Very engaging and well written. I have always been an Augusten Burroughs fan, so I really enjoyed the alternative perspective regarding their family and how different each brother's path was.
I have a child with aspergers and this book helped me understand how he thinks and how to better relate to him and focus on his amazing gifts. Also this is a great story of how to be happy with ones own life.
Curious incident of dog in the nighttime
This book was not what I was looking for as it relates to Asperger's, The author tells his life story as a person with Asperger's, but I found very little actual information on Asperger's through out the book. I wanted more personal information on how an Aspergian thinks, feels, and why they act they way they do. The beginning of the book gave me some of this insight, how as a child he acted and reacted, but then there wasn't much more information that I was looking for. I am happy for the author that he is a success in the music industry, I was just wanting more specific information on Asperger's.