Book Recommendation: Look Me in the Eye

Ever since he was young, John Robison 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, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

Available at Barnes and Noble

Travel and Autism

I’m sharing correspondence from Michale John Carley I think you will find useful. – Greg Wood
I’m on Day 4 after returning from Asia and I still can’t get my sleep schedule back. How I can be so lucky in adapting when I travel, yet so lousy at it when I get home?…beyond me. But I’d like to share a little about the gig I just had…11 days. 5 presentations, 3 media appearances, 2 site visits, 1 keynote, 8 million selfies, and numerous conversations, meals, and hours on a plane later, I want to congratulations to all new friends of Malaysia, a country made up of parts Muslim, Chinese and Indian culture who, perhaps due to that diversity, were made for such an embracing of the concept of neurodiversity in their first-ever autism initiative. Not that I’ve (or anyone has) witnessed every nation’s launch of this kind, but it’s easily the first that I’ve seen that wasn’t based on a tragic, medical, or disease model. It was positive at its core, and shone a light on their country’s individuals on the spectrum under the context of what they can do, not what they can’t. Congrats to AIM (Autism Initiative Malaysia), NASOM, EO, and Oasis Place KL. Oh, and…Wanna see a cool, 30-second clip of the closing ceremony? Click here. FaceBook users can also access some (mix of posed and action) photos here.
Soon I’ll have a large article on autism and travel (no relation to the Malaysia trip) to share, and after that, Autism Without Fear will begin its new life at Sinkhole, but for now please enjoy a reprint of my column from the Huffington Post this past January, “Packer Protests, National Anthems, and Why Despite His Autism, Green Bay’s Greg Clark Exemplifies All Veterans.” It is being reprinted for Exceptional Parent Magazine’s wonderful special edition for military families (thank you, EP!). You can read it in the lovely advance spread version by clicking here.
Oh yeah…other articles. Just a few…
• Longtime GRASP Chicago member, Jon Evans, is the guest on a long interview with the GEM network. What’s beautiful about this podcast episode is that you can hear the host learning as the interview travels on.
• Big thanks to Spectrum Life Magazine for reprinting my large piece on Autism Peer Supports in (or why they’re not in) Schools. Thanks again to Exceptional Parent Mag for allowing the reprint.
• Once again, I’m so proud to be an Advisor to GallopNYC. Great coverage on NY1, gang!
• And from England (how cool is this?…) World Cup (and this is the first in a series) coverage by and about spectrumfolk!
• In this day and age, how parents still get hoodwinked by the nonsense described in this NPR piece…is beyond me. Can diagnosing clinicians not suggest any sane treatments to help out, please???
• (Longtime comrade) Seth Mnookin has written a justifiably negative review of Edith Sheffer’s book, Asperger’s Children in the NYTimes. Thank you, Seth. Her research is solid. Her intentions are not.
• Again in England…a boxing class for people with disabilities. How awesome (and we can’t replicate in the states, why?)
• Australian buddy, Prue Stevenson, uses her Taekwondo black belt and spectrum ingenuity to create some fun, video performance art. Watch the video!
• While I’ve known for some time, my speaking in Beunos Aires, Argentina this coming October finally hit the web. Another “can’t wait,” for sure.
• Someone has finally funded a study on autism and homelessness (’bout time). Thank you to Brits (again???), Churchard, Ryder, and Greenhill.
Yours, y’all.
Michael John Carley
Author, School Consultant, Founder of GRASP