Years ago, a client suggested that I read John Elder Robison’s book Look Me in the Eye. Years later, I am now getting around to reading the more recent Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by Robison. If you have somehow not yet read these books, please begin!
Robison continues to amaze me with his insight and ability to simply articulate complex concepts. Robison deftly outlines portions of his history, juxtaposing his belief system “then” (sometimes middle school, sometimes young adulthood) with his current understanding of social expectations. He creates opportunities for growth in folks with ASD by showing how valid his logic was “then” and how he allowed his understanding and logic to change over the years. He notes that he doesn’t always agree with what is socially “acceptable” and that there is always an element of choice. Change doesn’t mean giving up yourself to the process!
There is much to love about Robison’s writing. In this book, Robison offers advice to folks on the spectrum, as well as to those who love and teach folks on the spectrum. His advice is clear/blunt, and accurate. Without fail, as I read this book, I thought of my clients. For any given chapter, I thought, “Oooh, Jane Doe needs to read this chapter!” or “This is exactly what John Smith and I were just talking about yesterday!”
Swing by the library, grab a copy, and start learning! Next on my reading list: Switched on by Robison. For your learning pleasure, see also JohnRobison.com.