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Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives Hardcover – March 12, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives + Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers + Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
Price for all three: $37.15

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307884848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307884848
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In his memoir Look Me in the Eye (2007), Robison wrote about his own Asperger’s syndrome—he was diagnosed with the form of autism when he was 40 years old. Here he asks the question: How does a man who lacks a sense of empathy and an ability to read nonverbal cues learn to be a father? And how does a man with Asperger’s learn to recognize the same symptoms in his own child? (A key element in the book is Robison’s son’s own diagnosis, and Robison’s reaction to his having missed seeing the signs for as long as he had.) In many ways, this is a traditional father-and-son memoir, but the added element of Asperger’s gives the story a stronger emotional core: when Robison and his wife separated, for example, he realized he had been misreading a lot of what had been going on between them. It’s a story of a man learning to be a parent, yes, but it’s also—and perhaps more importantly—the story of a man discovering, as an adult, who he really is. --David Pitt

Review

“Charming and wise…Part parenting guide, part courtroom drama, part catalog of the travails and surprising joys of life with the high-functioning form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome, this memoir will offer all parents — but particularly fathers — a lot to think about. That its author was almost 40 when he learned he had Asperger’s…and that he eventually learned his son had the condition as well, make their story more remarkable, but do nothing to diminish its relevance even for readers with no personal experience of autism...[Robison’s] deadpan humor [is] in evidence throughout… Touching, sympathetic, and often insightful.”
--New York Times

"Robison ... sheds some light on how having Asperger’s helped him cultivate an outlaw style of parenting...by turns hilarious, poignant, weird, shocking, and inspiring…This book will make you laugh, and make you think about how to parent a child who doesn’t fit into the neat categories we expect our children to occupy."
--Parents.com

“How does a man who lacks a sense of empathy and an ability to read nonverbal cues learn to be a father? And how does a man with Asperger’s learn to recognize the same symptoms in his own child? (A key element in the book is Robison’s son’s own diagnosis, and Robison’s reaction to his having missed seeing the signs for as long as he had.) In many ways, this is a traditional father-and-son memoir, but the added element of Asperger’s gives the story a stronger emotional core: when Robison and his wife separated, for example, he realized he had been misreading a lot of what had been going on between them. It’s a story of a man learning to be a parent, yes, but it’s also—and perhaps more importantly—the story of a man discovering, as an adult, who he really is.”
Booklist

"John Elder Robison is one of my autism super heroes because he bravely brings humor and humility to the heart and soul of the taboo and unexpected corners of life lived with autism.  His new book, Raising Cubby, is more than a memoir about a father and son bound by their Asperger syndrome. It’s a story that reminds us how precious and precarious the parent child relationship is and how beautiful our lives can be when we are share that ride together. Raising Cubby is Robison’s best work yet.”
Liane Holliday-Willey, coauthor of Pretending To Be Normal: Living with Asperger Syndrome

"Funny and moving...A warmhearted, appealing account by a masterful storyteller."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Robison's third book starts with a bang--his description of the 'malicious explosion' created by his teenage Cubby that has the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, looking at 60 years in prison, is as disconcerting as it is captivating....With the ensuing investigation and trial, Cubby and the author are drawn into a crazy world that threatens to tear apart their already delicate lives."
--Publishers Weekly

“John Elder Robison has written two books on his experience with Asperger's syndrome: Look Me in the Eye and Be Different. In Raising Cubby, he brings his warmth, intelligence and humor to an equally personal subject: his own son.”
Shelf Awareness

More About the Author

John Elder Robison is a free range Aspergian male who grew up in the 1960s before the Asperger diagnosis came into common use. After dropping out of high school, John worked in the music business where he created sound effects and electronic devices, including the signature illuminated, smoking, and rocket firing guitars he built for KISS. Later John worked on some of the first video games and talking toys at Milton Bradley. After a ten year career in electronics John founded Robison Service, a specialty automobile company in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Robison Service grew to be one of the largest independent restoration and service specialists for BMW, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, and Rolls Royce cars. The company has become one of the top-ranked Bosch Car Service centers in North America.

However, that wasn't enough. John wanted to do more; to find a way to give something back to other misfit kids who struggle to find their way in the world. Inspired by the reception of his brother's book Running With Scissors, John began speaking to groups of young people, and a year or two later, he decided to write a book. That book, Look Me in the Eye, was an instant bestseller.

John was launched on a new career, in addition to his successful car company.

When he's not at Robison Service, John now serves as an adjunct faculty in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He has served as a panel member for the Institute for Autism Research, The Centers for Disease Control, The National Institutes of Mental Health and Autism Speaks. John is involved in TMS autism research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and serves on the advisory board for Mass General Hospital's YouthCare program.

John is very active in his efforts to support and promote research leading to therapies or treatments that will improve the lives of people who live with autism in all its forms today. John is widely known as an advocate for people with autism and neurological differences.

John is the author of Look Me in the Eye, my life with Asperger's, and Be Different, Adventures of a free-range Aspergian. John's writing has been translated into ten languages and his work is sold in over 60 countries. His writing also appears in a number of magazines and he's a regular blogger on Psychology Today.

In addition to his autism advocacy work, John is a lifelong car enthusiast, an avid hiker, a photographer, a music lover, and a world-class champion eater. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Find John on the web:
www.robisonservice.com - the car company
www.johnrobison.com - John's personal site
jerobison.blogspot.com - John's blog
JohnElderRobison - on Facebook
@johnrobison - on Twitter

Customer Reviews

What an incredibly honest, hilarious, breathtaking, heartbreaking, intelligently told story.
BN1111
I like to learn as much as I can about how these people with this condition think and perceive their world.
Mary Reilly
Raising Cubby is the third book by American author, classic car restorer and Aspergian, John Elder Robison.
Cloggie Downunder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By K. Groh TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
On the surface, Raising Cubby is an entertaining, easy to read, and humor filled book. Great for any parent, young adult or avid reader.

However, if you have Asperger's, any relation to Asperger's, you are a parent with Asperger's, or a parent of a child with Asperger's, this book will mean so much more.

I deal with Aspergers on a daily basis, not me personally but in my family. It has not always been labeled as such but, like John Elder, finally knowing has its good and bad points. Knowing gives you power to see the great gifts that come with it as well as to better understand the reason behind the things that make you feel uncomfortable and different. But is also means that it is a part of who you are forever. I had a friend recently ask me, "Is there a medicine for Asperger's?" No there is not. But there is the ability, sometimes with help of therapy, to become more self-aware, to have the power to learn what is expected behavior and to work towards feeling more included in society, it is embracing the amazing qualities that the 'average' person doesn't have access to that make someone with Asperger's phenomenally smart, creative, ingenious, funny, and quirky. As Mr. Robison says, "The gifts and disabilities of Asperger's go hand in hand."

In Raising Cubby, John Elder Robison continues his journey from his own troubled but entertaining Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's to his journey as an adult with Asperger's parenting a child with Asperger's. Since he was unaware of his own diagnosis during his initial parenting years, he, like many parents, stumbled his way through, questioning what the best things were for his child.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By B. Caruso VINE VOICE on March 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
SPEEDY REVIEW: Are you looking for a book with suggestions and advice on how to raise your child who has autism or Asperger's? If so, please scroll to the end of my review, I will link some of my favorites as alternatives to this one. Are you looking for a story, rather than a how-to, about one man's journey with his kid? Then this may prove to be a good choice for you.

LONGER REVIEW:
"Raising Cubby" begins with the journey of John Elder Robison reaching technical, legal adulthood, seeking his niche in the world, and struggling with his, at the time undiagnosed, Asperger's. The story then transitions slowly from his story to a story about his son.

As I am familiar with John's writing, I was looking forward to learning more about Cubby and the experience of parenting (as a parent with Asperger's) a child with Asperger's. The transition was lengthy, but was a smart reflection on how that transition of self to other happens naturally in positive parent-child relationships. John Elder Robison's storytelling is fluid and full of humorous insights and little jokes and tall tales he has spun for his son. It was a joy to read about tales of the "Kid Store" and the stone boy. My son's dad and I have often woven such tales into our son's world to help loosen some of the rigidity and to exercise his creativity (and our own as well). It was reassuring to read that we aren't the only parents who do that and that clearly it results in a superior specimen (I'm joking, as does Robison in "Raising Cubby").

Readers looking for a how-to manual on Asperger's or parenting an Autistic child will be left feeling short changed. To be clear, this is not a book about Asperger's.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kim Karas VINE VOICE on March 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When his son was born John did not trust the hospital to be able to keep track of him so he marked his newborn's foot with a Sharpie marker, just to be on the safe side. Sure that would be thought odd by most but it's really just a logical precaution for a first-time Aspergian dad. Having previously read Look Me in the Eye and loving it, I looked forward to the release of Rasing Cubby as soon as I saw it promoted on Facebook. If you have read his previous memoir you will surely like this one just as well if not even more.

If you are new to Robison's writing he is a unique and wonderful storyteller and rest assured you do not need any experience with Asperger's, trains, tractors or high explosives to appreciate his writing. When asked as seen by others reading both of these memoirs I would start by saying that he has Asperger's and frankly, that's what people assume it's all about. No matter what I would go on to say I literally believe that otherwise reasonable and intelligent people stopped listening after the "A" word. Baffles me still. Well haven't you ever heard not to judge a book by it's cover? Let yourself be hooked and then reeled into a life experience that may be narrated by a person on the spectrum but covers so much more. Prepare for an interesting and quirky tale about a life experience that goes beyond ordinary... all of it true as best he can recall.

John starts by telling of his son facing multiple charges of "malicious explosion" a serious consequence for his highly active interest in chemistry and desire to learn through independent experimentation. Back-tracking to before his son Jack came into the world and then recounting his memories of how he made his way through parenthood where both father and son have the disability with benefits...
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