Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian

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Doubleday Canada, Mar 22, 2011 - Asperger's syndrome - 304 pages
7 Reviews
"I believe those of us with Asperger's are here for a reason, and we have much to offer. This book will help you bring out those gifts."

In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robison described growing up with Asperger's syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn't exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non sequiturs and avoid eye contact.

By the time he was diagnosed at age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life. In Be Different, Robison shares a new batch of endearing stories about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Aspergian mind.

In each story, he offers practical advice--for Aspergians and indeed for anyone who feels "different"--on how to improve the weak communication and social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of their often remarkable gifts. With his trademark honesty and unapologetic eccentricity, Robison addresses questions like:

* How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations
* Why manners matter
* How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills
* How to deal with bullies
* When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity
* How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage

Every person, Aspergian or not, has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their friends and family. Be Different will help readers and those they love find their path to success.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kekerlewis - LibraryThing

Robison wrote this in a very easy-to-read, conversational tone. It's the kind of fast read one would feel comfortable passing over to a nine-year-old son or daughter who might crack up laughing at ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

BE DIFFERENT was a Christmas gift to myself, mostly because I had so enjoyed Robison's memoir, LOOK ME IN THE EYE. I wish I'd saved my money. This book comes across as repetitious and rather robotic ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

JOHN ELDER ROBISON grew up in the 1960s before the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome existed. Today he has claimed his spot on the autism spectrum; he blogs for Psychology Today and is an adjunct professor at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. John served on the public review board for the National Institutes of Health where he considered research proposals to study autism spectrum disorders; he is currently involved in autism research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and he sits on the Scientific Advisory and Scientific Treatment boards of Autism Speaks. His previous book, Look Me in the Eye, was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages. He is the brother of Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors.

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