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{Teaching Guides for educators}

If you’re a teacher, and you enjoy my stories, you will be pleased to find teaching guides for both Look Me in the Eye and Be Different. A guide for my book – Raising Cubby – is coming soon.

Students and faculty of Monarch School worked together to create these guides. Monarch – in Houston, Texas – is widely acclaimed for its work with young people on the autism spectrum. The guides are downloadable in PDF form, ready to print and use.

Professional Development

In addition to these guides, I do workshops and professional development programs in schools. In a typical day I might speak to students in the morning, then meet with a smaller group of kids on the spectrum. That might be followed by a professional development workshop for staff, and possibly a talk for families in the evening.

Q & A and free-ranging discussion always make up a big part of my programs.

If you are part of a state education association you may be interested in a workshop at your annual convention. I appear regularly for regional and state conferences in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Massachusetts, and elsewhere.

Contact me to discuss professional development programs.

Consulting for Schools and Colleges

Are you involved in education management, and interested in better accommodating neurodiverse students, faculty, and staff? Are you interested in developing programs to develop the teachers, clinicians, and counselors of tomorrow?

Learn more about my consulting services for schools.

Contact me to talk about working together.

How it all Began

I grew up in the sixties, before my form of autism was generally recognized. Instead of accommodation, people offered criticism, and exclusion. The stigma of that followed me long into middle age. When I learned about autism, and why I was different, everything changed.

I saw my life transformed, and I began looking for opportunities to spread the word; to offer hope for young people and their families. In 2006, I decided to write a book.

I conceived Look Me in the Eye as a simple work of entertainment and inspiration. To my surprise, readers found it to be much, much more.

I had wanted how to show the world what it was like, growing up with undiagnosed Asperger’s, but I didn’t know how to do it. “It’s easy,” my brother Augusten said, “Just write down some of the bizarre stories you told me as a kid, and everyone will see what’s wrong with you!” And that’s just what happened.

Readers who work with autistic children saw my book as a window into the minds of their own non-verbal kids. Without realizing it, I had brought something new to the world simply by being what I am: I am autistic enough to know how it feels, but at the same time, I am articulate enough to be able to express my autistic/Aspergian feelings in written form.

“A robot with feelings,” as one reader described me.

I’ve brought a whole new insight to common phrases like, “Leave him alone. He’s got Asperger’s, and he prefers to play by himself.” You’ll think twice about much of the conventional wisdom about autistic kids once you’ve read my story. There’s some sadness in my story, but there’s humor, too. Some people even laugh out loud at parts of the story. Most people say it’s an easy book to read. I’m no judge of that, of course, since I wrote it. It’s printed in a clear and legible manner. I’m 100% certain of that.

Readers who work with children and young people may appreciate the message of tolerance and understanding contained in my book. I talk about the loneliness and isolation that many kids feel, and what I did to find my way in life. My Asperger’s may have set me apart from other children, but the feelings and thoughts I express are common to us all, at some level.

Look Me in the Eye offers real inspiration and hope for any young person struggling to find his or her way in life. I made it, and they can too. And not only did I make it, I truly made my dreams come true. Not just once, but four times. And those dreams — joining a big rock and roll band; designing electronic games; fixing and selling exotic automobiles; and becoming a successful author — are shared by millions of young people today. In 2011, I released the successor to Look Me in the Eye. It’s called Be Different – Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian. My third book – Raising Cubby – came out in the spring of 2013. It chronicles my adventures raising a kid on the spectrum; it’s a totally unique memoir of parenting and a celebration of difference, in father and in son.

I’m just a regular guy. A regular Aspergian guy, that is. Eccentric, but not weird. Definitely not weird.

My books are all about growing up, and making a good life doing things that any kid today could do, too. There’s nothing “unattainable” about my stories. I’m not an astronaut, or the President, or the pitcher that won the World Series. I’m just a regular guy. A regular Aspergian guy, that is. Eccentric, but not weird. Definitely not weird. I talk about how I found people who could appreciate and mentor me, how I avoided being dragged down by drugs and liquor, and how I learned to focus and concentrate to achieve my goals.

My educator support materials are only available in English at the moment, but my books are published in many languages, and sold all over the world.

Continue the Conversation

I encourage teachers, students, and anyone else to follow my writings on Blogger and Psychology Today and to interact with my communities on Twitter (@johnrobison) and Facebook (Johnelderrobison).

I hope that teachers and students everywhere find my works entertaining, inspiring, and helpful.

John Elder Robison

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