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.