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Download Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers Audiobook, by John Elder Robison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (930 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Elder Robison Narrator: John Elder Robison Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780307881328
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The author of the New York Times bestselling Look Me in the Eye returns to help Aspergians, and even ordinary geeks, embrace being different and fix the things that hold them back in life.

With his usual honesty, dry wit, and unapologetic eccentricity, John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not disability. In this book, he offers stories from his own life and from the lives of other Aspergians to give the listener a window into the Aspergian mind.

Equally important, he offers practical advice—to Aspergians, their parents, and educators—on how Asperians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “For anyone who has difficulty fitting in, this book is fantastic.”

    Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

  • “John Robison…offers clear insight and valuable advice on how to cope with the challenges that being different can create. This book transcends the specific case of Asperger’s syndrome and is a lesson in humanity and the human condition.”

    Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Be Different is a fascinating and unique guide for young people who may be struggling with autism and feel ‘out of sync’ with the world around them. John shares personal insights about growing up, feeling apart from his peers, and learning to modify his socializing skills and harness his gifts to discover his path to a successful life.”

    Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks

  • “Robison offers down-to-earth life advice for his “Aspie” peers and their friends, families, and teachers…recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand Aspergian children and adults.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Robison’s clear writing provides substantial insight into the mind of someone whose disorder makes clarity very, very difficult...a valuable read.”

    Booklist

  • For anyone who has difficulty fitting in, this book is fantastic. Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures
  • In a love poem to his wife, Pedro Salinas, the Spanish poet, wrote, ‘Glory to the differences / between you and me.’ John Robison teaches us to celebrate differences
    like Salinas did, but also offers clear insight and valuable advice on how to cope with the challenges that being different can create. This book transcends the specific case of Asperger’s syndrome and is a lesson in humanity and the human condition.
    Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Anyone with Asperger’s, if not everyone else, will derive knowledge and pleasure from the wonderful stories told in John Elder Robison’s newest book, Be Different. Clearly, John is one of our community’s leading voices. Michael John Carley, author of Asperger’s from the Inside Out and executive director of GRASP and ASTEP
  • Be Different is a fascinating and unique guide for young people who may be struggling with autism and feel ‘out of sync’ with the world around them. John shares personal insights about growing up, feeling apart from his peers, and learning to modify his socializing skills and harness his gifts to discover his path to a successful life. Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks
  • Robison offers down-to-earth life advice for his “Aspie” peers and their friends, families, and teachers...recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand Aspergian children and adults Kirkus
  • ...provides incredibly helpful advice to families learning to live with these challenges. Robison’s clear writing provides substantial insight into the mind of someone whose disorder makes clarity very, very difficult...a valuable read."--Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 2/19/2014

    " Practical advice. Each chapter highlights an aspect of the author's personality. One of the most useful parts is the appendix which shares how aspbergers is diagnosed and the author's opinion on getting tested. It also provides many other sources of info. While Look Me In The Eye is a more interesting read, this one is more direct and useful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 2sonreader | 2/13/2014

    " An easy read about what it is like to live with Aspergers'. I would recommend this for Aspergians (as he calls them), families and teachers to add to their understanding of what it is like to live with Asperger's as well as what is possible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nan | 1/18/2014

    " Because I Nannyed a boy with Asperger's, the book came recommended. It was filled with anecdotes, but not much advice. If there is advice, it is geared more toward the "Aspergian" and less toward those who live with kids on the spectrum. My knowledge was not deepened much. I'd never thought of the mirror neuron, so I thank Robison for that. I may need to dig into the resources mentioned in the appendix. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JulieB | 1/7/2014

    " Not as interesting as his first book, and didn't really contain as much "practical advice" as the author promises, because he mostly just says how he handled situations and it's up to the reader to glean from that, which I would argue is difficult for most "Aspergians." I expected more practicality and more advice and less memoir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Eagan | 1/6/2014

    " This book is so sweet and so funny and so informative. If you know anyone who is "different" you must share it with them and celebrate ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan Karmel | 1/6/2014

    " I liked Look Me in the Eye better, but I enjoyed reading this too. I agree with the central premise of the book. Understand yourself, understand how your behavior affects others and apply the generally accepted rules of moral, ethical and polite behavior. But then go ahead and be different. Celebrate eccentricity; don't appologize for it. I like and agree with the concept of the "proto-aspergian" - a person with Asperger's traits who nevertheless would probably not be diagnosed with Asperger's. In my opinion, the most likely reason that "proto-aspergians" would not be diagnosed with Asperger's is simply that according to the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for 299.80 Asperger's Disorder, it's only a disorder if the individual has impairments. Some may be impaired as a result of their environment and can cease to be impaired simply by changing their environment. A "proto-aspergian" may have every Asperger's trait in the DSM IV except for impairment, and for that reason alone, they do not have Asperger's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 12/29/2013

    " Narrated by the Aspergian author, I found the book entertaining and self enlightening as I am sure now that I am proto-aspergian. It is an unflinching look at what should not be classed a disease, but a remarkable difference. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Antoinette | 12/15/2013

    " This book is good for geeks and nerds as well as Aspies. Sometimes it helps just to know you aren't the only one who thinks differently. It also helps to know you can continue to think differently and still succeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 11/1/2013

    " I love John Elder Robison's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 10/31/2013

    " I read this book and "Look Me In the Eye" back to back and I liked "Look Me in the Eye" better. This was fine, however. I think that I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't just read one of the same author's other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Schomas | 10/8/2013

    " Great insight into minds that think differently and feel things differently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Johnson | 9/21/2013

    " After 14 years of being a mother of an aspergers child, this book opened my eyes to how he may feel more that any other one I have ever read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Harkins | 9/14/2013

    " Temple Grandin, also autistic, endorsed this book, but writes so much better than Robison. All in all, it's entertaining and definitely a good read for teachers or parents seeking additional information on Asperger's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kylene | 12/30/2012

    " Great Book for anyone but AWESOME for parents of children on the ASD spectrum. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 12/25/2012

    " Great window into the mind of an Aspergian. Very easy to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keisha | 9/26/2012

    " It was very informative. Plus his observations made me laugh out loud regularly (audiobook). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 8/25/2012

    " I liked this better than Look Me in The Eye. Robinson is a talented writer and this particular book's purpose is to be helpful to anyone living with Asperger's. It is helpful. It's also pretty funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn Trlak-Donahue | 8/12/2012

    " I really liked his first book. This one was just ok. It gave some good advice in terms of helping someone with aspergers. But, the writing didn't flow very well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Berta | 3/30/2012

    " This is a wonderfully detailed first person account of man with neurological differences struggling during childhood and adolesence learning to shine and succeed through motivation and use of those differences. A good book for teenagers and parents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 8/22/2011

    " Great perspective of an adult with Aspergers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geebowie | 5/23/2011

    " great guide to life for aspies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 3/29/2011

    " Everyone should read this book. If you have a kid with autism, if you have a typical kid, if you have autism, if you are typical EVERYONE should read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 3/23/2011

    " This book is so sweet and so funny and so informative. If you know anyone who is "different" you must share it with them and celebrate ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 3/13/2011

    " Wonderful! Although the first fifty pages disappointed me, with their being word-for-word excerpts from Look Me In the Eye, I enjoyed every moment of the rest of the book. If anyone else finds themselves in that position, plug on through. The rest of the book is worth it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 3/4/2011

    " I really liked his first book, Look Me in the Eye, but this one was just okay. I think it would be great for someone that is autistic or has Asperger's, or has a child with it. It is mostly about his experiences with it and sort of a handbook on how to handle it. "

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About the Author
Author John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison is the author of Be Different, Raising Cubby, and the New York Times bestseller Look Me in the Eye. He lectures widely on autism and neurological differences, and is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Robison also serves on committees and review boards for the Center for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and Autism Speaks. A machinery enthusiast and avid photographer, he lives with his family in Amherst, Massachusetts.