The author of the New York Times bestselling 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 reader a window into the Aspergian mind. Equally important, he offers practical advice to Aspergians, their parents, and educators on how Aspergians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.
About the Author
John Elder Robisongrew up in the 1960s before the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome existed. Today he has claimed his spot on the autism spectrum; he blogs for Psychology Today and is an adjunct professor at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. John served on the public review board for the National Institutes of Health where he considered research proposals to study autism spectrum disorders; he is currently involved in autism research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and he sits on the Scientific Advisory and Scientific Treatment boards of Autism Speaks. He is the brother of Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors."
“For anyone who has difficulty fitting in, this book is fantastic.”
—Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures
“In a love poem to his wife, Pedro Salinas, the Spanish poet, wrote, ‘Glory to the differences / between you and me.’ John Robison teaches us to celebrate differences
like Salinas did, but also offers clear insight and valuable advice on how to cope with the challenges that being different can create. This book transcends the specific case of Asperger’s syndrome and is a lesson in humanity and the human condition.”
—Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
“Anyone with Asperger’s, if not everyone else, will derive knowledge and pleasure from the wonderful stories told in John Elder Robison’s newest book, Be Different. Clearly, John is one of our community’s leading voices.”
—Michael John Carley, author of Asperger’s from the Inside Out and executive director of GRASP and ASTEP
“Be Different is a fascinating and unique guide for young people who may be struggling with autism and feel ‘out of sync’ with the world around them. John shares personal insights about growing up, feeling apart from his peers, and learning to modify his socializing skills and harness his gifts to discover his path to a successful life.”
—Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks
“Robison offers down-to-earth life advice for his “Aspie” peers and their friends, families, and teachers...recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand Aspergian children and adults” —Kirkus
" ...provides incredibly helpful advice to families learning to live with these challenges. Robison’s clear writing provides substantial insight into the mind of someone whose disorder makes clarity very, very difficult...a valuable read."--Booklist