Sunday, September 28, 2008

Look me in the Eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

This was one of those books that I picked up thinking, I should read it, but would I really? Would it just sit on my shelf for the next 3 weeeks collecting dust until its due date?
I did pick it up and I did read it. Asperger's syndrome is something that I keep running into at work. Increasingly, as people are more aware of its existance they are more willing to get their children tested and get them the help they need to succeed. John Robison was not one of these fortunate kids. He spent his childhood puzzled at why he was different, trying to figure out what the other kids knew about social behaviour that he didn't. He was also brilliant at circutry, with the abilty to visualise and create effects greater than his own mathematical skills. He grew up in a time when Apergers was not a recognised syndrome (that didn't happen until the 1980's). In fact he was not diagnosed until he was in his 40's. I was absolutely entranced reading this book. It gives us as rare look into the mind of an 'Aspergian', something I would like to know how to do more and more as I teach these kids. The book is peppered with vignettes about his life: growing up in a not to happy home, getting involved with sound amps and fancy guitars in the music industry, working with the first electronic toys... This book has sparked my interest to know more, and I am making it one of my work goals this year. Next up is a book written by another person with Aspergers that Robison reccommended to read.

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