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BE DIFFERENT by John Elder Robison

BE DIFFERENT

Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian

By John Elder Robison

Pub Date: March 29th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-88481-7
Publisher: Crown Archetype

A guide to making the most of living with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Aspergian Robison (Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s, 2007) offers down-to-earth life advice for his “Aspie” peers and their friends, families and teachers. The author grew up never fully understanding why he, an intelligent, capable man, could never quite fit in. It was only when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40 that he realized his quirkiness arose from having been born with a mind that made connections in ways different from what he calls “nypicals” —people with neurotypical or “normal” brains. Unlike so many other Aspergians who end up alienated, alone and unemployed, Robison gradually found ways to overcome his social and communication deficits and transform his differences—such as superior concentration, abstract reasoning and mechanical skills—into gifts. Beginning with a chapter that gives a human face—his own—to the “restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior” associated with Asperger’s, Robison proceeds with a discussion of the thornier interpersonal issues Aspergians face. Compensation for all or most of these challenges is possible, argues the author, by combining the Aspergian strength of logical analysis with observation, an awareness of past experiences and practice. Learning to live in a “nypical” world was not easy for the author—“[i]t’s been a lifetime job for me”—but the rewards have made his efforts undeniably worthwhile.

Recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand Aspergian children and adults.