Thursday, September 19, 2013
Asperger's from the Inside Out by Michael John Carley
Asperger's from the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome, Michael John Carley. New York: Perigee/ Penguin Books, 2008. e-book, 201 pps.
Asperger's from the Inside Out is written by the executive director of an organization called GRASP. The letters stand for (The) Global (and) Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership and the website can be found here at: http://grasp.org/ . There are many resources on the GRASP site, including but not limited to an informal discussion group on-line that meets twice a week. Michael John Carley founded GRASP and the work done there is to be admired.
In his book, Michael John Carley takes on identifying the symptoms of Asperger's, the diagnostic process, passions, and the possibility of happiness. He also offers a toolbox of tips for use in order to navigate through a world that is often harsh in stimuli. He is careful to point out that disclosure is always or should always be up to the individual with Asperger's.
sapphoqreviews says: Yes, Michael John Carley was an unsuccessful playwright. Yes, he works as an advocate for those with Asperger's. He does not deserve to be criticized for his life choices, as at least one reviewer chose to do. He was diagnosed with Asperger's as an adult after his young son was diagnosed with Asperger's.
The positives: In Asperger's from the Inside Out, Michael John Carley works tirelessly promoting the idea that a brain which works differently from the average brain is not necessarily an abnormal brain. He insists that Asperger's is a syndrome or a condition, not a disorder. The author also talked about his difficulty or unwillingness to "prove" his math work. [I too had that same glitch. I figured if I could look at a geometry problem and get the answer, I shouldn't have to write down the steps in the bulky "proofs." As long as I knew the name of the particular proof, I figured that plus the correct answer ought to have been enough. In algebra I fared better because the balancing of equations was something that I liked to do. In regular math, there were times when I could determine the answer but not know how I got there. So yeah, I related to that]. Michael John Carley took a strong stance against the curebies. He also stated and restated his belief in the sovereign status of each Aspie to make his or her own decisions.
The negative: There was only one negative. And it is mild. Perhaps a preference in vocabulary. I dislike the term "spectrumites."
The recommendation: Adults who are on the spectrum will especially find Asperger's from the Inside Out to be a valuable addition to their collection of aspie-related literature. Others who are not bound up in Autism Squeaks or how "awfully hard it is to be the parent of an autie/ aspie" will also like this book. Get it.