Be Different

Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian


  • On Amazon
  • ISBN: 978-0307884824
  • My Rating: 6/10

My notes

I've proven to myself and to the world that through hard work, patience, diligence, and good fortune I could overcome the obstacles life, and my Aspergian brain, put in my path.

Every expression and gesture means something. It's sometimes hard to figure out what the meaning is, but it always exists.

When today's brain scientists talk Asperger's, there's no mention of damage – just difference.

The hardest thing about having Asperger's is that we don't look any different from anyone else on the outside. So why would anyone suspect that we are different on the inside?

Asperger's is part of a broad spectrum of human behavior, with extremely disabled autistic people at one end and the teeming mass of undiagnosed humanity at the other. All of us fall somewhere on this imaginary behavioral continuum.

Professionals have coined the word "neurotypical" to describe any human who does not have some form of autism.

The brain differences that make us Aspergian never go away, but we can learn two important things: how to play to our strengths and what to do to fit in with society.

Learning how to get along with other people is vital for our own success and happiness.

Competence excuses strange behavior.

I learned to accept the way other people do things even when I'm sure that they are wrong. By learning to let other people make their own choices, and their own mistakes, I avoided antagonizing them and I stopped making enemies for no good reason.

Your own rituals are okay as long as they don't interfere with your responsibilities in daily life, or make you the subject of teasing or ridicule. Rituals become a problem whenever they prevent you from doing the stuff you're supposed to do, or when they get you in trouble.

Eventually I came to understand that I benefited from compliance with the social rules, even when they seem illogical, wasteful, or nonsensical.

When in a strange social situation, I watch the others and do as they do.

I have to act in ways that make people hang around long enough to see my good side.

If you don't have anything nice to say, just keep your thoughts to yourself.

Do not talk about someone else's appearance unless it's a compliment.

Learn to coexist peacefully. Even if you can't make friends, don't make enemies.

The more different you are from other people, the more likely you are to solve problems in a unique way.

Greatness happens when you find your unique strengths and build upon them. Building up a weakness just makes you less disabled.