|Image via Goodreads|
I read this book as part of the Summer 2014 book challenge.
I was searching for a book that fit the biography, autobiography, or memoir category and came across this one. I really liked this book! John writes about how Asperger's has made his life different. Some in good ways. Some in bad ways. He didn't even know he had Asperger's until he was an adult. Growing up it wasn't a known diagnosis. He was classified as lazy, unmanageable, just a bad looking for trouble kid. He grows up wondering why kids don't like him. Socializing with others just doesn't come easy for John. School becomes too hard for him and he drops out. He goes on to do some pretty incredible things. You know those awesome guitars that KISS plays? He designed those. After working for the band for a while he needs a more stable environment. He ends up working for Milton Bradley designing electronic toys. He wants success and he finds it. However the higher he climbs on the ladder of success the more he has to interact with people, something he's not good at. He ends up leaving his job and doing something that he enjoys. He relates to machines. Machines don't try to trick you like people can. Machines are reliable. He opens his own car lot. He sells and fixes cars. Once he learns he has Asperger's he is better able to manage it. He can see now how he is supposed to relate to people. He sees how a conversation is supposed to be. He finally understands why he's had trouble relating to his peers.
This book was entertaining and educational. It puts you inside John's mind. you get to see how someone with Asperger's views the world. He's very matter of fact about things. My favorite part was chapter 23 "I get a Bear Cub". In this chapter his son is born. It was pretty comical how he described the experience.
""They had a big room where all the babies lay behind glass and grew under heat lamps, just like the baby chick display at the State Fair. Some were in incubators but most were just on trays."
Also in this chapter he talks about how reading the same story over and over again for his son got boring. I can relate. He begins to change the stories.
I eat you fish"
"See them all
See them run
The man is back
He has a gun"
In the book he describes having Asperger's like this:
"No one turns to a guy in a wheel chair and says, "Quick! Let's run across the street!." And when he cant run across the street no one says, "What's his problem?" They offer to help him across the street.
With me though there is no external sign that I am conversationally handicapped. So folks hear soem conversational misstep and say, "What an arrogant jerk!" I look forward to the day when my handicap will afford me the same respect accorded to a guy in a wheelchair."
I'm glad I read this book. I've said it before but my favorite thing about the challenge is that it oushes me to read books I wouldn't normally read. Thank you book challenge!
His brother wrote a book called Running with Scissors that I have now added to me "to read" list. His brother talks more about the not so fabulous childhood that they had.