Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Look Me in the Eye - John Elder Robinson

This was an amazing non-fiction memoir that I read over the weekend. I think it should be required reading for all teachers - my friend Penny says, "for all PEOPLE." It's written by a man who has Asperger's, a form of autism, and it gives incredible insight into the mind of someone with Asperger's that's so helpful for those of us who don't have Asperger's in understanding what's going on inside that brain.

I read so many little pieces that made me think, "AHA, so that's why this person does or says this." And, "that's why this person doesn't do X, Y or Z."

As teachers we do try to teach treat each child as an individual, but there are certain societal norms that I think we just subconsciously expect every child to conform to. We need to remember that there are some children who even if they wanted to, might have something hampering them from doing that. Looking you in the eye, for example, might be something they just can't do. And they might not be able to understand or, even if they do understand, they might not be able to verbalize why. That's one really good thing about this book. It's written by a man in his late forties or early fifties I think, and he's had a long time, and a lot of help, understanding his behavioral differences, AND he can articulate those incredibly clearly.

This book was very powerful, and I highly recommend it especially to educators, but also, as my friend Penny suggested, to all people, young and old, who want to better understand all kinds of people who live in this big, wide world with us.

No comments: