Look Me in the Eye My Life with Asperger's

ISBN-10: 0307396185
ISBN-13: 9780307396181
Edition: N/A
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $1.49
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Description: Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 9/9/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. It was no wonder he gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on. After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, his savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a “real” job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose in the company, the more he had to pretend to be “normal” and do what he simply couldn’t: communicate. It wasn’t worth the paycheck. It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself—and the world. Look Me in the Eyeis the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as “defective,” who could not avail himself of KISS’s endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people’s given names (he calls his wife “Unit Two”). He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents—the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs and write the bestselling memoirRunning with Scissors. Ultimately, this is the story of Robison’s journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner—repairing his beloved high-end automobiles. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien, yet always deeply human. From the Hardcover edition.

John Elder Robison was born in Athens, Georgia in the summer of 1957. His father was a professor of Philosophy in Amherst, Massachusetts. His brother is Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors. Growing up John did not know he had Aspergers. He did know that he had a rare insight into electronics. With that knowledge, he joined a band, and ended up designing special effects guitars for KISS by the late 1970s. Afterward, he was an engineer with a major toy and game company. He moved up the corporate ladder for many years, and then became unable to function in the high social climate of the corporate wold. He began fixing Mercedes and Land Rover cars in his driveway and opened his own car repair specialty shop---J E Robison Service. Eventually he was diagnosed by a therapist as having Aspergers. "Look Me in the Eye" is his honest and touching memoir.

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