Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Look Me In The Eyes by John Elder Robison

 Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: The author writes about his life with Aspergers, before there was a commonly held diagnosis. John is the older brother of Augustun Burroughs, the author of Running with Scissors. He talks about his early years, how he sees the world and how the world saw him. His success and his failures, and how he believes Aspergers contributed to both in different ways.

My thoughts: This was assigned reading to help me understand my son, who has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, probably Aspergers. One of the things I struggled with was the portrayal of the parents. I'll be honest, I have not read Running with Scissors and know little to nothing about it other than vaguely remembering the trailer for the movie. As a mother with a child with Aspergers, I have often felt like I was going crazy. After we moved (before he was diagnosed) we were in between insurance which meant no counselling or medication. For a time I was isolated (no extended family nearby, no friends, working from home.) and the primary caregiver. For that first six months, I might have become very unhinged.

And I knew that my child was special needs. I had the long-distance support of family, I had the internet. Still, I worried that my child was a sociopath. I felt like he was doing things intentionally to bully me (and after reading the book, I'm not entirely convinced he wasn't.) If I had been living in the same time and had the little support system that their mother had, I am not sure I could have held onto my sanity.

An interesting perspective.

If you enjoy Sheldon from The Big Bang, then you will probably enjoy this memoir, but for someone living with a loved one with Aspergers there were many moments I had to laugh simply to keep from crying.

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