Synopses & Reviews
“I believe those of us with Asperger’s are here for a reason, and we have much to offer. This book will help you bring out those gifts.”
In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robison described growing up with Asperger’s syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn’t exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non sequiturs and avoid eye contact.
By the time he was diagnosed at age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life. In Be Different, Robison shares a new batch of endearing stories
about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Aspergian mind.
In each story, he offers practical advice—for Aspergians and indeed for anyone who feels “different”—on how to improve the weak communication and social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of their often remarkable gifts. With his trademark honesty and unapologetic eccentricity, Robison addresses questions like:
• How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations
• Why manners matter
• How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills
• How to deal with bullies
• When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity
• How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage
Every person, Aspergian or not, has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their friends and family. Be Different will help readers and those they love find their path to success.
"An essential guidebook for anyone who has difficulty fitting in. It will help all the creative, quirky, geeky, and wonderfully different kids to become successful in life. This book is fantastic."
--Temple Grandin, author, Thinking in Pictures
From the best freestyle surfer in the world, an inspiring and moving memoir about his ascendance to the top of the surfing world while struggling, undiagnosedand#160;for most of his youngand#160;life, with Aspergerand#8217;s syndrome
From the best freestyle surfer in the world, an inspiring and moving memoir about his ascendance to the top of the surfing world while struggling for most of his young life with undiagnosed Aspergerandrsquo;s syndrome
Clay Marzo has an almost preternatural gift with a surfboard. From his first moments underwater (he learned to swim at two months old) to his first ventures atop his fatherandrsquo;s surfboard as a toddler, it was obvious that Marzoandrsquo;s single-minded focus on all things surfing was unique. But not until late in his teens, when this surfing phenom was diagnosed with Aspergerandrsquo;s syndrome, did the deeper reasons for his obsessionandmdash;and his astonishing gift for surfingandmdash;become clear.
Just Add Water is the remarkable story of Marzoandrsquo;s rise to the top of the pro surfing worldandmdash;and the personal trials he overcame in making it there. Marzo endured a difficult childhood. He was a colicky baby who his mother found could be soothed only with water. Later, as he entered school, his undiagnosed Aspergerandrsquo;s made it tough for him to relate to his peers and fit in, but his relationship with the wave was elemental. Marzo could always turn to surfing, the only place where he truly felt at peace.
Unflinching and inspiring, Just Add Water is a brave memoir from a one-of-a-kind surfing savant who has electrified fans around the world with his gift and whose story speaks boldly to the hope and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.
About the Author
John Elder Robison grew up in the 1960s, before the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome existed. Today he has claimed his spot on the autism spectrum; he blogs for Psychology Today
and is an adjunct professor at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. John serves on the Science Board of Autism Speaks and on the Public Review Board for the National Institutes of Health, where he considers research to improve the lives of autistic people and their families. He is also currently involved in autism research and programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Mass General Hospital, two teaching hospitals of the Harvard Medical School.
When he’s not writing, speaking, or involved in studies, John can be found at Robison Service, the automobile company he founded twenty-five years ago. Robison Service has established a reputation as a leading independent restorer and customizer of BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley automobiles. Visit John’s company at www.robisonservice.com.
John lives in western Massachusetts among family, friends, animals, and machines.