Reveling in Autistic Differences: Advice from John Elder Robison
This is one of the best profiles on someone living with autism to come along in a while. The excellent Steve Silberman of Wired profiles “free-range Aspergian” (and Lavin speaker) John Elder Robison, whose new book, Be Different, was just released.
The core message of Be Different is to revel in your autistic differences but also to try to fit in as much as you can. It’s a book about hope — but not the kind of hope touted by vendors at conferences built around the promise of “recovering” kids from autism. Instead, Be Different advocates self-acceptance coupled with practical strategies for adapting to a world designed for non-autistic people. “The brain differences that make us Aspergian never go away,” Robison writes, “but we can learn two important things: how to play to our strengths and what to do to fit in with society. Both those skills will lead to a vastly improved quality of life.”
Photo: John Robison is naturally adept at technology; in the picture above, he holds a custom guitar he made for KISS’s Ace Frehley.