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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's (2007)

av John Elder Robison

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,4531114,308 (3.75)84
John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits had earned him the label "social deviant." No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings drunk. No wonder he gravitated to machines, which could be counted on. His savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a "real" job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose, the more he had to pretend to be "normal" and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself--and the world.--From publisher description.… (mer)
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Written by the brother of Augusten Burroughs, who wrote Running with Scissors, Look Me in the Eye tells about growing up in a dysfunctional family- his mother had mental illness and his father was an alcoholic. As a young kid, John Elder wanted to play with other children but didn't know how- his odd way of talking earned him labels of being weird and difficult, and for his inability to make eye contact he was called "shifty" and "up to no good". He more or less got pigeonholed as a bad kid. This was in the sixties, Asperger's wasn't a known diagnosis back then.

Actually, I found a lot of the book kind of hard to get through at first, because I was expecting to read about what it's like to live with Asperger's, and instead I was reading about all these crazy incidents as John Elder dropped out of school, left home and started travelling with bands- he had a genius for designing things with electronics and made special effects with sound, lights and smoke bombs for several different bands including Pink Floyd and Kiss. Hard to put down, but also really far from my usual reading interests! The author was really good at what he did, and enjoyed the creativity, but had difficulty handling the close personal interactions living in close quarters with the road crew on tour. Eventually he left that scene and started working for Mattel, making the first electronic toys that used motion and sound. That was also a creative environment and it's fascinating to read how he and the other electronic engineers came up with solutions to problems, within tight constraints. But promotions placed him in positions where he was managing a team, not doing the creative work himself, which he didn't like. So he left that line of work and started his own business rebuilding specialty cars- had interest in vehicles, fixing and rebuilding engines from a young age. That is still operational.

It was only in his forties that a close friend showed the author a book which described Asperger's symptoms, and he realized for the first time why he was different from other people. He relates how reading Born on a Blue Day and books by Temple Grandin helped him recognize and understand himself. I found the last part of the memoir more interesting, where the author describes his thought process, looks back on his childhood with new comprehension, talks with his estranged parents about certain things, relates how he parented his own son (who isn't on the autism spectrum but has some of the traits) and tells how he is continually working on social skills and "emotional intelligence" but that has changed his ability to do the amazingly creative electronics work that highlighted his youth. In fact, he looks back on designs he made when he did sound effects for bands, and says he could think those things up nowadays, but not execute them, because he's a different person now and has lost that laser focus on one area of expertise. He's happy with it though. Fascinating. I wasn't sure at first, but I think this one's staying on my shelf.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Jul 12, 2020 |
Like [a:Laurie Helgoe|912889|Laurie Helgoe|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-F-50x66-d699becf6b6f088e26f741df8c92d54e.jpg], he was well in life before he realized that he is not alone in how he is different, and it is okay to be different. "I felt good about myself, and I felt even better when I discovered that many of them were misfits like me. Maybe I had finally found a place I'd fit in." (Page 65) However, it wasn't until much later when he learned the name for how he is different.

I was surprised that even with negligible ability to comprehend social cues, he managed to learn to relate to people because of his abilities in making up stories and pranks.

It was an interesting read. I look forward to reading his brother's book [b:Running With Scissors|242006|Running With Scissors|Augusten Burroughs|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1316137284s/242006.jpg|828773] and Robison's sequel, [b:Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers|13135049|Be Different Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers|John Elder Robison|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1322713742s/13135049.jpg|13546270]. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Desde que tenía tres o cuatro años, John Elder Robison es consciente de que es diferente de los demás. Era incapaz de establecer contacto visual con otros niños y, cuando era adolescente, sus extrañas costumbres —una fuerte inclinación hacia los dispositivos electrónicos, desmontar radios o cavar profundos hoyos— le habían otorgado el sello de «socialmente desviado». Sus padres no solo no lograron entender sus problemas de socialización, sino que fueron prácticamente tan disfuncionales como él. Pero, alentado por algunos maestros a arreglar sus equipos audiovisuales averiados, el pequeño Robison descubrió un mundo más familiar y cómodo de máquinas y circuitos, luz suave y perfección mecánica. Esto recondujo más tarde su vida laboral hacia sectores donde la conducta extraña se considera normal, desarrollando las guitarras eléctricas de KISS o juguetes computerizados para la compañía de Milton Bradley. No fue hasta los cuarenta años que le diagnosticaron una forma de autismo llamada síndrome de Asperger. Entender lo que le ocurría transformó la forma en que se veía a sí mismo y al mundo.

Mírame a los ojos es la historia de cómo creció con el síndrome de Asperger en un momento en que el diagnóstico simplemente no existía, con el objetivo de ayudar a quienes están hoy luchando para vivir con Asperger y mostrarles que no es una enfermedad, sino una forma de ser, que no necesita más cura que la comprensión y el aliento de los demás.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Nov 26, 2019 |
This was a well written and at times a funny book that we all enjoyed immensely. For some, like myself it was an eye-opener. I knew nothing about Aspergers and the author did a fantastic job of bringing me into his world. For others, it was a book they could relate to because of family members that have Aspergers. They said he was spot on with all the struggles he experienced during his childhood.

The most fascinating part of the book was reading about what he has achieved in his life. He didn’t look at his condition as a failure but as an asset. He has accomplished so much including having a family and this brings hopes to others suffering from Aspergers’ I think it’s a wonderful message that will help many families.

It’s a story that is beautifully written, easy to read with no fluff. The author tells you exactly how it is and you can feel it through his writing. ( )
  tinahogangrant | Jun 26, 2019 |
I just wish I'd read it sooner. I can track Asperger's in our family for three generations. In finishing this book I've become convinced that our brains are ELASTIC and much more sensitive to drugs, alcohol, to imagination and visual stimuli and to interaction with others. YES! yes. Aspergers is more and more a wonder to me, less a handicap. What a gift to give.

I wish I had this awareness with my father. It has certainly helps me to understand and respond to my grandson. If this is true of their brains, the wonder of it - it is also true of our run-of-the-mill brains. We are more sensitive than we realize and we are more capable of growth and response than we thought. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
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Since learning about Asperger's, I have read just about every personal account I can find with regard to Asperger's. While I found all of them interesting, I can't think of one that I would have called warm or engaging - until I read John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's. ...Mr. Robison tells a story that is at once heartbreaking, inspiring and funny....Mr. Robison's life is a testament to the fact that a life with Asperger's can be as rich as anyone else's - despite the challenges.

 

» Lägg till fler författare (1 möjlig)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
John Elder Robisonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Burroughs, AugustenFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Deakins, MarkBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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For my brother, who encouraged me to write the story, and most especially for Unit Two and Cubby
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"Look me in the eye, young man!"
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John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits had earned him the label "social deviant." No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings drunk. No wonder he gravitated to machines, which could be counted on. His savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a "real" job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose, the more he had to pretend to be "normal" and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself--and the world.--From publisher description.

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