atypical: life with asperger’s in 20 + one third chapters

Friday 29 June 2012

the title of a book by jesse a. saperstein, published by perigee. in many ways this is the best Asperger’s book I’ve read thus far.

But before the praise, I have to say that I have a big bone to pick with Jesse. Over and over in his book, he implores the neurotypical world to take the radical step of giving us Aspies a chance. And yet… I’ve sent at least three messages to him on facebook, and he hasn’t answered a single one. Can’t he give me a chance? It’s true that I may not be sending the messages correctly. I have a terrible time navigating 0n facebook. So maybe he’s not ignoring me. But if you are, Jesse, why?

Jesse has many of the obvious, and to many people obnoxious, Asperger’s tics that I myself do not have, and which have made social interactions even more arduous for him than they are for me… and that’s already bad enough. And yet he has also had the good f0rtune, like Grandin and Robison and the others, to have his writing published. No such good fortune has shown up for me or for many other Aspies who are writing. Jesse also has been extremely lucky in his parents, which many of us are not, and he knows this very well. He mentions it many times.

I like this book so much because it talks about rage, and about repeated failures, and about how these things make one feel. He discusses the desperation we Aspies have to be given a chance. He is funny, but also honest. He is positive, but also bitter. He discusses the whole range of emotions that Asperger’s and its consequences have engendered in him. He does not gild the lily. Or at least not very much.

Once again, there are so many great lines I could pull out this book that I’d be hauled to the rack for gross plagiarism. Just read it.

Most of my life has entailed “pushing against a force,” with perpetually frustrating outcomes.

The journey has forced me into quagmires of chronic failure and bitterness that have lasted up to years at a time.

When you have met one person with autism… you have met one person with autism.

Rejection is still unbearable as an adult, and I have never stopped asking the same questions. “What did I do?”

When people fail to understand why someone is different, they will often deny him or her the “radical” courtesy of  a chance.

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read…   Neverending solitaire

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

asperger syndrome — a love story

wednesday 27 june 2010

this is the title of a really good book by sarah hendrickx and keith newton (british couple, book published by jessica kingsley publishers)

Though I was not involved in a romantic relationship when I bought and read this book, I found it more helpful in understanding differences between autistics and NT’s than any book I’ve read to date. There are many, many excellent, informative quotes that I’ve highlighted in my copy, but if I gave them to you here I might get accused of stealing half the book. I strongly recommend that interested people actually read this book.

I was continually struck — and pleased — by Sarah’s willingness to make certain allowances for Keith’s autism, and her final decision that it is both useless and unfair to try to turn him into a neurotypical. This awakening came only after much struggle, but I applaud her for finally reaching it. No one at all in my amerikan life has come to such an awakening regarding me, and I envy Keith his good luck in finding her.

Keith also has made compromises that earlier he could not have made. But the more Sarah accepts him as he is, the more willing he becomes to try some small, cautious ways of adjusting some of  his autistic reactions. Kindness breeds kindness, back and forth between two people. Isn’t that something we’re always told? But how often do we practice it, or find it being practiced on ourselves.

Here are some of the multitude of quotes I cling to in this extremely enlightening book:

(sarah) No two people with AS will display the diagnostic characteristics in the same way or the same degree, due to differences in the condition and also in personality, background and many other factors.

(keith) I couldn’t tolerate the process of looking after myself…  I pretty much shut myself off from the world for about seven years.

(sarah) … some people with AS… simply tell the truth and have no concept of whether it is appropriate or helpful to do so. The truth is all and no one can possibly have any issue with it, as it is an inescapable thing.

(keith) Looking people in the eyes hurts. … I just wish for some simplicity in communication… Frankly, I have no friends… anyway, don’t they just disappoint you and let you down?

(sarah) He views much social conversation or small talk as shallow and pointless…

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read…  Lifelines…    Stolen stars

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.