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Be Different

by John Elder Robison

"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 storiesabout 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 advantageEvery 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.

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-range Aspergian

by John Elder Robison

"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.

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

by John Elder Robison

Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits--an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them)--had earned him the label "social deviant. " No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. It was no wonder he gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on. After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, 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 in the company, the more he had to pretend to be "normal" and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It wasn't worth the paycheck. 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. Look Me in the Eyeis the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger's at a time when the diagnosis simply didn't exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as "defective," who could not avail himself of KISS's endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people's given names (he calls his wife "Unit Two"). He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents--the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs and write the bestselling memoirRunning with Scissors. Ultimately, this is the story of Robison's journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner--repairing his beloved high-end automobiles. It's a strange, sly, indelible account--sometimes alien, yet always deeply human. From the Hardcover edition.

Raising Cubby

by John Elder Robison

The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad's relationship with his equally offbeat son--complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble John Robison was not your typical dad. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. Instead of a speech about the birds and the bees, he told his son, Cubby, that he'd bought him at the Kid Store--and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would "do all chores." While other parents played catch with their kids, John taught Cubby to drive the family's antique Rolls-Royce. Still, Cubby seemed to be turning out pretty well, at least until school authorities decided that he was dumb and stubborn--the very same thing John had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger's too? The answer was unclear. One thing was clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant and curious chemist--smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring federal agents calling. With Cubby facing a felony trial--and up to sixty years in prison--both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally accepting that being "on the spectrum" is both a challenge and a unique gift.nd a bracing lack of sentimentality." --Entertainment Weekly"Endearing...Robison is a natural storyteller." --Boston Globe

Raising Cubby

by John Elder Robison

The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad's relationship with his equally offbeat son--complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn't a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When his son, Cubby, asked, "Where did I come from?" John said he'd bought him at the Kid Store and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would "do all chores." He read electrical engineering manuals to Cubby at bedtime. He told Cubby that wizards turned children into stone when they misbehaved. Still, John got the basics right. He made sure Cubby never drank diesel fuel at the automobile repair shop he owns. And he gave him a life of adventure: By the time Cubby was ten, he'd steered a Coast Guard cutter, driven a freight locomotive, and run an antique Rolls Royce into a fence. The one thing John couldn't figure out was what to do when school authorities decided that Cubby was dumb and stubborn--the very same thing he had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger's too? The answer was unclear. One thing was clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant chemist--smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring state and federal agents calling. Afterward, with Cubby facing up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally coming to terms with being "on the spectrum" as both a challenge and a unique gift. By turns tender, suspenseful, and hilarious, this is more than just the story of raising Cubby. It's the story of a father and son who grow up together. Praise for John Robison's first book, Look Me In the Eye:"Lean, powerful in its descriptive accuracy and engaging in its understated humor...Emotionally gripping." --Chicago Tribune"A fantastic life story told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality." --Entertainment Weekly"Endearing...Robison is a natural storyteller." --Boston Globe

The Science of Making Friends

by John Elder Robison Elizabeth Laugeson

The groundbreaking book that puts the focus on teens and young adults with social challengesThis book offers parents a step-by-step guide to making and keeping friends for teens and young adults with social challenges--such as those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, bipolar, or other conditions. With the book's concrete rules and steps of social etiquette, parents will be able to assist in improving conversational skills, expanding social opportunities, and developing strategies for handling peer rejection.Each chapter provides helpful overview information for parents; lessons with clear bulleted lists of key rules and steps; and expert advice on how to present the material to a teen or young adult. Throughout the book are role-playing exercises for practicing each skill, along with homework assignments to ensure the newly learned skills can be applied easily to a school, work, or other "real life" setting. The bonus DVD shows role-plays of skills covered, demonstrating the right and wrong way to enter conversations, schedule get-togethers, deal with conflict, and much more.PART ONE: GETTING READYCh. 1: Why Teach Social Skills to Teens and Young Adults?PART TWO: THE SCIENCE OF DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPSCh. 2: Finding and Choosing Good Friends Ch. 3: Good Conversations: The BasicsCh. 4: Starting and Entering ConversationsCh. 5: Exiting Conversations Ch. 6: Managing Electronic Communication Ch. 7: Showing Good Sportsmanship Ch. 8: Enjoying Successful Get-TogethersPART THREE: THE SCIENCE OF HANDLING PEER CONFLICT AND REJECTION: HELPFUL STRATEGIESCh. 9: Dealing With Arguments Ch. 10: Handling Verbal Teasing Ch. 11: Addressing Cyber Bullying Ch. 12: Minimizing Rumors and Gossip Ch. 13: Avoiding Physical Bullying Ch. 14: Changing a Bad ReputationEpilogue: Moving Forward

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