Look Me in the Eye

Just finished reading ‘Look Me in the Eye – my life with aspergers’ by John Elder Robison. It is a totally fascinating read on several levels. He has had an interesting life, developing amplifiers and special effects for Kiss and Pink Floyd in the past, moving on to the toy industry then eventually starting his own business restoring fine European automobliles. His childhood was harrowing, growing up with a mother with severe mental health issues and a father who became an alcoholic. His younger brother has also written his memoirs of these times in the rather better known Running With Scissors, which I am keen to read now.

Obviously I find John’s views and ideas about aspergers absorbing. I agree so much with what he says about why some kids with asd become very badly behaved or even violent – the way other people treat them leads to a lot of frustration building up. As a child he played some really bizarre tricks on people – incredibly well thought out and clever but quite disturbing too. He hated school, never fitted in and left at 15. It’s at this part of the book that we begin to see him shine. He channels his own talents and expertise into finding work and a life for himself. Never boastful, it seems as if he doesn’t realise just quite how well he has done. It’s rare and special when someone achieves work that they love and makes a good living that way. Thinking of various aspies I’ve known/know, I wonder if they are actually better at managing this than the rest? The ability to think your own way and not take on peer group ideas is strong… hmm… just my own thoughts there.

I loved the latter section of the book where John talks about his relationships in a beautifully logical, slightly bemused way. His love for his son is wonderful and I found it most humerous how he talks about this and everyone he loves. So a fab book all round, much aspergian wisdom dispensed within 😀 The author’s site is also very good.

8 thoughts on “Look Me in the Eye”

  1. I totally agree with you Lucy, can not wait to read both books,I have learned so much over the last few weeks in my new job people are far too quick to judge a book by its cover,if people could accept that children are all individuals in their own right I believe life would become a lot easier for children.I have learned so much from the lad I care for and he has made me see so much in a different light,and I refuse to comply to the way his teacher does things it is not in my nature,the lad deserves more!!!Bless you allxx

  2. Lucy did you know Augusten Burroughs will be at the pavilion theatre in Brighton in May, a mighty long way for you to travel though!Love & lightx

  3. I’ve almost reached the end of ‘Look me in the Eye’. My brother-in-law sent it with a strong recommendation from the States when he had finished reading it, he bought it because of my dd. I have found it to be an uplifting an positive book and I can certainly relate to some of his childhood (though happily not all) from seeing my daughter experience similar situations. It’s quite telling I thought that although he went to school, he doesn’t find much to say about the experience that was positive, he was only happy when working with electronics, the rest of his schooldays were painful and he was almost entirely self educated, seems to be the way to go for Aspergians!

  4. Brighton is one of the places we want to visit very much… but already have a trip planned for May – this seems to be a year of gadding about!!

    Yes, it is a positive book – I like how he explains what helped him, understanding social interactions better etc. This could be very helpful to others…

  5. Thanks for commenting John – I did see your blog and intend linking to it on the sidebar 🙂 Thank you also for writing your book – I know it will help improve the lives of many aspergians.

  6. Lisa…could you bring “Look me in the Eye” to the meet? I absolutely promise not to borrow it, – I am very bad at borrowing books. If I read them and like them, I then just buy them for myself, or don’t give them back. If I don’t like them, I don’t read them…so all in all, borrowing and me don’t mix! Thing is, I would love to check that I do need to buy it as much as I think I do.

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