Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday with Words: Look Me In The Eye


Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison is the autobiography of a man who grew up with Asperger's and didn't know it.  I have two family members with ASD now identified, and I'm trying to learn all I can about the condition  - the way they think, what they see differently, how they can learn to function better in society.  Hence, reading all the books I can get my hands on!  These was free via Kindle a while back, so you might want to check, if this interests you.

This book was interesting.  There is great detail about his childhood, sparser in the teen years, then again great detail about his working life.  He talks about how he saw the world, and how he thinks other people saw him, and how the difference between the two caused many relationship and understanding issues.  Like many people with Asperger's, he was gifted with electronics and had an interesting career, full of twists and turns.  He had a failed first marriage (also normal for Aspies - 80% of their marriages fail), but the second one seems like its still going well.  He had children, and when one of them was diagnosed, that's when he realized he had it, too!  (That is increasingly common these days, and similar to what happened in my house.)

I was engrossed in his story, and do think it worth the read if you have Aspie's in your circle of family or friends.  I didn't highlight anything until the Postscript:

If I had written my story at twenty-five instead of fifty, it would have been much drier and less emotional.
   I believe a similar evolution is evident in Temple Grandin's work (she's the author of Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation). In fact, she and I have discussed that very issue on several occasions.
   This insight was inspiring to me because it shows that our brains continue to develop throughout our lives. This is completely counter to what I've often heard but never accepted: "If you're autistic, you never change."  If I am any example, it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks.

Hope.  Change.  There is a future with ASD.

3 comments:

  1. I don't know anyone diagnosed with ASD, but this sounds interesting. Thanks!

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