Be Different written by John Elder Robison is the second book I enjoyed reading by the author. The first book Helpful Book – Look Me In the Eye is more about his childhood. In this book, John talks both the positive aspects of Asperger’s as well as the negative ones and how to lead a successful life balancing them both. John was diagnosed in his forties and looking back at his life with that knowledge offers a fresh perspective to his struggles and as well as his success. John had a successful career in the music industry and automobile industry and this book he offers plenty of advice for the young adult or teenager on the Autism spectrum. Any advice that comes life experience is very valuable!
I liked John’s classification of all people into three categories – Aspergian, proto- Aspergian and Nypical. All people on the Autism spectrum belong to the first category and he calls the neurotypicals as Nypicals. Proto-Aspergians , according to the author, are people with plenty of Asperger quirks but not too many disabilities and comprise of the nerds, geeks, scientists among others.
He talks about his difficulty to focus in school in spite of being very intelligent, trouble with eye contact, his sensory issues, lack of social skills as well as his love for routine, extreme focus on a single subject and determination to succeed inspite of all odds. He credits his success to his extraordinary focus and immense knowledge. He says that by foccussing on his strengths and learning basic skills like dressing well, working with others, controlling his sensory overload by concentrating on something else he loves.
His positive outlook of Asperger’s can be immensely helpful for young adults on the spectrum.
Do read this book, especially if you are an Aspergian or a parent, you will find it helpful. You can purchase it Amazon India .
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