I’m not much of a one for giving book reviews. I’m also not one for saving books to re-read.
This book is different.
Benjamin T. Collier is 29 years old. He was diagnosed with severe autism as a child, and has now progressed to a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (A.S.)
In his newly released autobiography, “My Life A.S. Is”, Collier takes us on an in-depth journey into the mind of one who lives it. He is brilliantly articulate, and his turn of phrase is engaging. His matter-of-fact approach leaves no room for pity. Collier speaks to the reader with a sense of respect. He appears to believe his readers can and will understand his perspective, and we can live more harmoniously because of that.
Personally, I recognized some traits he describes as being part of the personality of some people I know. Reading his often humorous descriptions helped me see how other acquaintances of mine express little tolerance for such differences. Reading this book would, I think, help change such attitudes.
I met Collier recently at a conference. The following paragraph from his book describes perfectly what I observed when I told him I’d purchased his book as a valuable reference for our counselling agency.
“How do I explain the way my thought process works? It’s like the human brain is the garage for a delivery service, and every package is a thought, and each part of the brain is a different terrain vehicle. My brain has to deliver a thought across a desert wilderness, only my desert jeep won’t start, so I’m stuck with a snowmobile… The package still gets there, but it’s slower, and because it’s a different vehicle it can’t take the same routes… so whenever someone asks me a question, my thought takes longer to process…”
I will have to purchase another copy for the agency, because I’m keeping this one for myself.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about autism and A.S., but also for anyone who would like a great read describing a fascinating alternate perspective of the world.
Well done, Mr. Collier!
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