Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Look Me In the Eye

I just finished reading a fascinating memoir by John Robison, brother of Augusten Burroughs (famous for the book Running With Scissors). The book chronicles his life with Asperger's syndrome and how it influenced his relationships, personality, and ability to function on a daily basis. His accounts of his thought processes were incredible and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for him to actually write about it. He actually went through over 40 years of his life before finally being diagnosed with Asperger's. This was a challenge because he didn't have any physical symptoms or a "disability" per se, but he knew he was different from his peers. There was no research about the Autism spectrum when Robison was growing up so people just assumed he was socially inept. I give him so much credit for coming forward and telling his story.

As someone who works with kids on the Autism spectrum, it provided me with a lot of great insights. John struggled in school, but is a brilliant individual, especially in areas of engineering and machinery. He even went on tour with KISS in the 70s because of his knack for repairing broken amplifiers and incorporating pyrotechnics into guitar design. I highly recommend this book and Robison's website where he blogs about public appearances and current Asperger's research that he's involved in.

Have any of you read this already?