Monday, September 26, 2011

Be Different

ALL GROWN-UP MONDAYS - Books for Adults

Review by Leisa Hammett @

Be Different: 
Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, 
Families & Teachers  
 John Elder Robison's Be Different gives a vivid image of what it is like to have Asperger's 
and to deal with common situations that most neurotypical individuals take for granted.
 He describes, for instance, what it's like to ask a girl to dance at a party. 
But, the angst he suffers in doing so would normally be seen in a seventh grader, 
only he is in his late teens or early 20's at the time of the incident. Throughout the book,
I had an emotional reaction to his struggle and was extremely impressed with how he overcame 
each Aspergian hurdle. 

At times, when he explains how he vaulted these hurdles, it almost seems braggadocio,
 but I have to take into account that he may not understand why it would sound that way. 
It's as if he has an Horatio Alger's life. He will state in an almost matter-of-fact manner that 
he designed the light-show guitar for one of the bandmates of KISS. Anyone who knows 
anything about KISS knows about the famed guitar. And this goes beyond his skills as an 
electronic genius, he's a mechanical genius as well, owning a high-end automotive repair shop 
specializing in Mercedes Benzes, Range Rovers and Bentleys, to name a few.

Be Different is a unique book that gives the reader an experiential opportunity to step
 in the shoes and life of someone who has Asperger's. And for that reason, the plodding,
 the odd lay out, etc., is more than tolerable. Furthermore, he has attached an appendix 
that will serve as an excellent resource guide for anyone who has Asperger's or for their 
family members.

Readers can learn more about this book and others plus autism and “disAbility” at 

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