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Yet another adult Asperger's memoir

Posted Aug 13 2009 6:52pm
In what would seem to be a rather weary if not cliched genre, I see that yet another person with Asperger's, not diagnosed until very late in life has joined the August company of John Elder Robison, Liane Wiley, Michael John Carley in penning a memoir describing what it is like to have Asperger's. As is the case with his three predecessors, Tim Page is also someone atypical of someone with an autism spectrum disorder in that he has been a hugely successful music critic and a pulitzer prize winning writer. Though I concede one can't judge a book by its cover (another cliche I admit) I don't think I will be reading this book, as I don't think he is someone I can resonate with, whom if he can be a pulitzer prize winning writer, most likely does not have problems of the magnitude of mine. I can still remember in the pre-Asperger's days when Temple Grandin and David Miedzianik were the only two persons in the world with ASD's who had written autobiographical books. Robison has spoken for all persons with Asperger's saying a cure is not needed under any circumstance. Michael Carley has gone a bit further than Robison stating the old neurodiversity piece of propaganda that most persons on the autism spectrum don't wish a cure. Most troublesome of all, at least at one time, Wiley stated that autism should be celebrated on her web page, though I think she may have changed that. Tragically, her book was given a shameless plug in the movie Adam. I still wonder if there will ever be a person on the spectrum who will write a memoir about how adverse their life is. How they went to special ed schools, and were unable to work or find a romantic relationship. I know this sounds familiar, but personally I probably would not have an interest in writing a complete memoir. I did write a short (nonpublished) nonfiction book about some of my takes in autism which consisted of 10 chapters. One of the chapters is my essay in which I attempt to refute the diagnosis of various persons claimed to be autistic, so I suppose I could claim my book is one-tenth self-published. The rest of the book would need major overhaul to be of publishable quality and I sort of crashed and burned on the project. Even if I had a book ready for submission anyplace, I don't think I would have much of a chance of having it published.

A few years ago Page wrote an essay of his own about his Asperger's and childhood which was published in the New Yorker. In this essay he describes a rather tumultuous childhood with discipline problems in school, poor grades and having some children bully him. This was apparently a regular mainstream school. Page then describes his ascension to adulthood becoming a successful writer and editor of various periodicals. He is vague in the essay as to how he so easily made the transition from troubled child to successful adult. He is told by someone in the year 2000 (well in his 40s) that he has Asperger's syndrome. He is vague as to whether he was actually diagnosed by a clinician.

To Page's credit, he admits that others with AS are not as fortunate as he is and some of them end up institutionalized or were transients near where he lived in New York.

Though he does not state an opinion about the neurodiversity movement, he does mention its existence as well as discuss Aspies for Freedom as one example of some people who regard AS as a difference not needing a cure.

I do not know if Mr. Page is married as are his three predecessor memoirists in this fast growing genre.

Well, I think I will pass on Page's book, but I suppose not everyone will feel the way I do. I don't know how successful Carley's and Wiley's books were, but I know Robison's was a best seller. I suppose there must be people who want to read about successful persons with Asperger's since the genre seems to keep growing exponentially.
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