Saturday, February 4, 2017

Recommended reading

I've read many books related to Asperger's since I started this blog, and think it would be helpful to summarize some of them.

One of the first Aspie books that I read, and one of my favorites, is "look me in the eye" by John Robison.  It is an autobiography, and what I liked most about the book was how I could relate to John's story.  Although Asperger's seems to have caused more problems for John than it did for me, the book helped reaffirm my diagnosis.  After reading the book I felt John and I were, "cut from the same cloth".

A book that my wife particularly enjoyed was, "loving someone with asperger's syndrome".  I, like many other Aspie's, take issue with Maxine Aston's Cassandra Syndrome which is mentioned in the book.  The theoretical syndrome befalls women in relationships where they are emotionally deprived.  Extreme emotional neediness is better explained by something like borderline personality disorder rather than inventing a new syndrome.  Fortunately wife 2.0 does not identify with being a victim, and was not put off by this distraction in an otherwise good book.

In the fiction category, two books my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed were, "the Rosie Project", and "the Rosie Effect" by Graeme Simsion.  In the same way that Chuck Lorre nails it with Sheldon's character in "The Big Bang Theory", Graeme does it with Don's character in these books.  Whether Graeme is on the spectrum himself, or is a close friend of one, he clearly understand what goes on in the mind of an Aspie.  I also think he does a great job of showing in a humorous way that the problem is usually not in the way Aspies behave but in the way people react to them.

I've also read a couple of Temple Grandin's books, but they were not among my favorites.  On a personal level I don't connect with Temple the way I did with John Robison.  She also suggests people on the spectrum need to learn to conform to social norms in order to fit in.  This was in the context of behavior that does not objectively cause harm to anyone, such as impoliteness.  Instead of trying to change people with ASD, society should stop trying to enforce archaic and irrational rules of behavior.

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