Look Me in The Eye by John Elder RobisonI picked up Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison on the recommendation of some guy at the comic book store. after an evening of casual Magic, he had suggested it as reading for Turbo, feeling that he has some of the personality traits of Aspberger's. Now, aside from the fact that I find lay diagnosis of other people's children to be a bit rude ( believe me, as someone who works with small children and has repeatedly NOT suggested elimination diets for kids with eye-bags, I get the urge), and aside from the fact that we did take him to a kid shrink at one point and she declared him neurotypical, it's just too easy to walk into a comic book store full of gamers and start handing out diagnoses. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
After reading the book, I am very glad I did not just hand it to my 10 year old. It's not appropriate for that age group. It is, however, a fascinating look at a man who grew up with Aspberger's in a time when no such diagnosis existed, and in a dysfunctional family to boot. Robison is to be greatly commended for his perseverance. As a person who faced her own odds growing up, a passage near the end of the book struck a deep chord with me:
I don't know why, but I never gave in to the voices. Many times, quitting would have been easier than going on, but I never did. And I never turned to anti depressants or liquor or pot or anything else. I just worked harder. (emphasis mine).
You can visit John Robison on the web at www.johnrobison.com
Related works I've tagged for future reading:
Born on a Blue Day
Running With Scissors
A Girl Named Zippy