“Look me in the Eye” by John Elder Robison

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On the Saturday after I got the first result of the first tests we had done in school, I went back to the library.

I looked for books on Autism and Asperger’s but I instinctively knew that any elaborate, dry book full of descriptions and further test questions would have simply overwhelmed me at this, early, point of what will be, I know that, my journey into A LOT of Learning about Asperger’s.

It’s a memoir, I won’t say anything much, read about it here, better even, read it yourself if you haven’t yet.  I must say I did not regret my choice! 

I have read (auto)biographies before and of course they are only so much relevant to your own little life but this is actually also a really good book. It is well written, entertaining narrative, without going overboard and with a focus, obviously, on how John Elder Robison’s life was formed by his – then completely unknown – condition of Asperger’s syndrome.

I obviously read this to find out more about Nemo, but in the end, I could connect with the author myself. Throughout my recent ‘research’ on the internet, it has become clear to me that certain symptoms of Asperger’s that make social life complicated, can be part of the emotional wreckage you are left with from severe and long-term abuse of various kinds. (I have been – tentatively – diagnosed a few years back with PTSD and probably “Battered Person Syndrome” (formerly known as ‘Battered Wife..’))

So while some of the described life experiences, were very male, very techy, very American too, others were totally clear to me, because I struggle myself at times with the correct reading of social behaviour, understanding attitudes, applying the right tone etc.. Being a foreigner in different countries for now almost 2 decades has not exactly helped me there either.

I thought this to be an excellent book and a great start into understanding Asperger’s, in this case, from the inside. I understand it was quite the Bestseller a few years back, but for me it was a lucky find in my local library in Australia.

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