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Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers | [John Elder Robison]

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers

John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not disability. In this book he offers stories from his own life and from the lives of other Aspergians to give the reader a window into the Aspergian mind. Equally important, he offers practical advice - to Aspergians, their parents, and educators - on how Asperians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.
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Publisher's Summary

The author of the New York Times best-selling Look Me in the Eye returns to help Aspergians, and even ordinary geeks, embrace being different and fix the things that hold them back in life.

With his usual honesty, dry wit, and unapologetic eccentricity, John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not disability. In this book he offers stories from his own life and from the lives of other Aspergians to give the listener a window into the Aspergian mind.

Equally important, he offers practical advice - to Aspergians, their parents, and educators - on how Asperians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 John Elder Robison (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"An essential guidebook for anyone who has difficulty fitting in. It will help all the creative, quirky, geeky, and wonderfully different kids to become successful in life. This book is fantastic." (Temple Grandin, author, Thinking in Pictures)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (86 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
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2 star
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4.4 (68 )
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Story
4.3 (69 )
5 star
 (33)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    SHEILA CLEBURNE, TX, United States 08-17-12
    SHEILA CLEBURNE, TX, United States 08-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You have to BE an Aspie to see the full value"

    For many years, I lived like so many, feeling NOT NORMAL but not knowing why. Once I realized why, I began to understand more and more about myself, and just HOW I am different. I am not sure anyone except those of us who live it can fully appreciate just what the author is describing here. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, if only to broaden the readers' views on a world many may not even know exists. It will open your eyes to just how such a brilliant mind can be hidden inside a troubled boy. Mr. Robison is different, not just in how his brain works, but in his ability to turn his difference into such an asset.Even at my age, even I found inspiration and hope after this book. For someone 50 years younger, the potential is wonderful, if only so they can come to understand the nature of their difference and learn to not blame themselves along the way. This is the kind of book one will want to buy to share with others. Look/listen closely to Mr. Robison's description of how he saw/heard the sounds from the mega-amps, watching and understanding the sounds through all the senses, then turned that incredible insight into a musical/magical instrument. There is some depth in his perceptions at that moment that many will not recognize ... don't miss it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francois M. 07-24-12
    Francois M. 07-24-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Interesting but not fulfilling"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Interesting read, good performance by the reader. This book has nice stories about the author's use of his Asperger manifestations into becoming a success. While I liked the stories, I was looking for more practical applications for my Aspergian, which the book was a little short on.


    Would you recommend Be Different to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I was not looking for an interesting story, I was looking for practical ideas for Aspergians, which this book did not provide


    Have you listened to any of John Elder Robison’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did Be Different inspire you to do anything?

    It incorporated a few god ideas which I'll try to apply


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Jamaica, NY, United States 10-01-12
    Kindle Customer Jamaica, NY, United States 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    4
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    "I love John Elder Robison Books"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Be Different to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I would. The author is a great narrator. He is a great storyteller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author is my favorite character because his life experiences are not only informative but also very humorous. I laughed a lot.


    Which character – as performed by John Elder Robison – was your favorite?

    The author is my favorite character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I listened to this book in one sitting. It was very interesting and informative.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read both of John Elder Robison's books: Look Me In the Eye and Be Different. I hope that he will write more books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy LOWVILLE, NY, United States 02-12-13
    Kathy LOWVILLE, NY, United States 02-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Always insightful."
    What did you love best about Be Different?

    Be Different is an honest account of John Elder Robison's view of learning he's an aspie and how he managed to excel in a world before the diagnosis was conceivable. He provides hints and guides to other aspies which has been a blessing for me as a mother of an aspie.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best part of this audio book is the honest account of his success.


    Any additional comments?

    God Bless you, John Elder Robison for bringing asperger's to light and provide insight on how to "treat" these individuals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa MANTEO, NC, United States 09-03-12
    Lisa MANTEO, NC, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2012

    Crazy Dog Lady

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Very Informative"
    What did you love best about Be Different?

    Having a son and daughter-in-law with Asperger's, I learned a lot from this book that will be helpful for them.


    What about John Elder Robison’s performance did you like?

    I liked hearing his words in his voice, it made it seem very authentic


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Be Different?

    Encouraging my son and his wife to find what they are good at, and being patient, since it may take a while!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda Twin Lakes, WI, United States 06-12-12
    Rhonda Twin Lakes, WI, United States 06-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
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    "Fresh optimistic perspective...No pity!"
    What did you love best about Be Different?

    The wonderful reality that spectrum diagnoses may indeed be a gift (not a curse). When the gift is understood and then utilized the road may begin to look brighter than ever imagined.....


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Be different and
    Stop thinking you have a disease!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jannine E Zerres 08-26-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
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    "Required reading for parents, spouses, and family"
    If you could sum up Be Different in three words, what would they be?

    Touching, Informative, Amaziing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A it is about Mr. Robison


    What about John Elder Robison’s performance did you like?

    His honesty


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not necessarily.


    Any additional comments?

    As an Aspie Mom of an Aspie teen this book made me tear, made me laugh, and made me hope. John Elder Robison nails it with his book. He says everything I wish the neurotypical world knew about Aspies. This should be required reading for every parent, spouse, teacher and school administrator who are connected with a person with Asperger's Syndrome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 06-20-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 06-20-13 Member Since 2012

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great for everyone!"

    As I was listening to this book, I could only picture Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory sitcom. The resemblances are very didactic, and it is simple to help you understand the world of aspergians. I not only recommend this book, but I am also reading his other book called 'Look me in the eye". This one is a fun and informative read\listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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