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This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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Day 19: Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

Posted on April 19, 2014 in Autism

Look Me in the Eye coverI bought Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison because of the picture on the book cover. So many on the autism spectrum have communicated that eye contact is painful and stressful. Some have even shared that making eye contact is a barrier to listening. Many authors of autobiographies discuss the need for “gaze avoidance” in their books, but only Robison integrated this challenge into his title and into his book jacket. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this autobiography sold me at first glance.

If you find yourself puzzled by the behavior of someone you love, teach, or support, this book may give you some answers. Know someone that struggles to maintain a conversation, can’t seem to figure out subtle cues, or constantly gets in trouble for saying ‘the wrong thing’? That was Robison and for years he did not know that this way of being had a name or that others “had it” too.

I was really touched by Robison’s many stories of “life on the spectrum”; I found so many passages to be enlightening including those on childhood loneliness, dating and love, and surviving in the work place.

And if you are a rock music lover, this book is not-to-be-missed. I won’t give away too much, but KISS fans in particular will have a fun time reading about the adventures of Mr. Robison in his post-school years.

** Idea for using this book: If you have had a family member diagnosed in the adult years or feel someone you love has characteristics of Asperger syndrome, this book may be a useful first read.

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