Be Different

Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers
Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers. Crown Archetype. 2011. c.304p. index. ISBN 9780307884817. $24. PSYCH
In his second autobiographic work on Asperger's syndrome (a milder version of autism), following his Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, Robison includes additional episodes while providing "actionable advice" intended to help explain Asperger's. He uses short chapters to showcase different character traits of Asperger's; some are quite strong, such as his account of his nonemotional reaction to a horrific automobile accident. Many of the chapters, however, are weak and lack real value. He discusses at great length and with no clear purpose why the nicknames he provides are more appropriate than given names. The book has a good deal of useful content but repeats his chronological first work in a topical fashion. Many of the stories appear in both books, and there is only a bit of new material here for readers of his first title.
VERDICT While Robison provides a nice understanding of the Asperger's mind, this follow-up does not adequately supplement his previous work. It is recommended only for libraries with comprehensive autism and Asperger's collections. Others should have Look Me in the Eye.
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