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Monday, December 20, 2010

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

By John Elder Robison, 2007
282 pages

Look Me in the Eye is the story of John Elder Robison, who did not know until age 40 that he had Asperger's syndrome.  The book chronicles his life as he tries to survive the world with a social disorder he is unaware of.

Having a brother with Asperger's really made me want to read this book.  However, if you're curious about the life of an average "Aspergian", as Robison calls himself, this book would not be my top recommendation for information.

While this memoir maps the life of a very fascinating man, it's not the ideal window into the life of the average autistic child.  Robison often was in the right place at the opportune time, and because his diagnosis came later in life, he was thrown into situations that would be unlikely for someone known to have Asperger's.  Many of the stories in this book are entertaining, and sometimes shocking, because they are out the ordinary life experiences, and not necessarily because they were experienced by someone on the autism spectrum.  The earliest years that he writes about are probably the most informative as far as portraying what life as an "Aspergian" is like.

But if you enjoy stories of characters who overcome extreme life challenges, then Look Me in the Eye is an entertaining and heartfelt read.

If you want more information about Asperger's and autism, then I recommend Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support at www.oasisautism.org.