BOOK: Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's
AUTHOR: John Elder Robinson
John Elder Robinson has managed to put out an account of Aspergers Disease that is both touching and highly readable, while also being immensely informative.
In today's world, Aspergers is well researched, moderately understood by the general public and generally accepted; but when Robinson was growing up he was struggling with a disease no one knew about, understood or accepted. Autistic's were considered to be those incapable of human interaction, success or an independent life. They were either put in group homes or sequestered in their own homes without much of a chance to thrive. Those who showed mild symptoms of Autism but still looked more of less like the general public were considered freaks, lazy or worse. Asperger's was simply not on the public's radar. Hence Robinson grew up ostracized, lonely and desperately confused about how the world worked and why he could not fit into no matter how hard he tried.
Add to that the insane household he grew up in and it's a miracle he made it out alive, let alone successful and socialized. What I didn't know going into the book was that he is brothers with Augusten Burroughs (author of the bestseller Running With Scissors) and was raised in a home full of mental illness, abuse and neglect. His response was to leave home at 11years of age and take up with various unsavory factions. His extensive knowledge and intense focus on mechanics (common to those with Asperger's) allowed him to tour with KISS as their sound manager for a year; and his account of that adventure is incredible.
Eventually Robinson made a life for himself, owns his own business and has a family. He is a supporter of the Asperger's cause and speaks extensively on the topic in the hopes of helping others. His tale is entertaining and informative and I recommend it to all.