This unique book brings a depth of understanding of the analytical skills that 21-year old Alex has brought to his own condition. As Alex says, "There are varying types of Asperger's and young people cannot all be squeezed into having the same diagnostic symptoms. But what they do have are some correlation to the symptoms laid out by Hans Asperger." ( Please note, Asperger's may now be described as the lower end of the autistic scale.)
In his book, Alex takes each of eight symptoms and comments how these symptoms are pertinent in his life. In so doing, the reader will find similarities to those children with Asperger's that they know and will be able to reflect with new insights on what Alex is talking about. In addition to the above, Alex shares many experiences in his life that reflect his Asperger's condition from not being able to drive, social development, repetitions, panic situations, holidays, family, movies, relaxers, etc. Alex has augmented his insights with graphics that even more clearly clarify his Asperger's symptoms and sheds new ways of seeing the Asperger's condition. In reading this book, the, reader will clarify in his/her mind the characteristics common to the children that he/she knows. Along the way Alex is brought to tears in recounting the unpleasantness of his experiences. At the same time, there are moments of great hilarity in the retelling of episodes that have a sense of the comedic in them.
The second part of Alex's book is a re-counting of his life experiences, explaining why he can't drive, how he relates to his family, his school experiences, the things that relax him and those which may cause him near panic. From each experience the reader will assess the lessons learned and how it relates to the children he/she may know. In the addendum, significant family members and friends assess Alex's Asperger's diagnosis. This is extremely helpful in to the reader in that many of the problems in dealing with children with Asperger's/Autism are similar to Alex's. Every child with Asperger's has some gift. Alex's gift is his ability to penetrate to the core of his Asperger's Syndrome and then is able to articulate his response in such a way as to enlighten the reader. Added to this is a great sense of metaphor, which is highlighted by multiple graphics in the book.
From the author...
"Hi! My name is Alex Olinkiewicz. I was born, raised and went to the Shelter Island School, NY. I'm half Autistic, and half not. Some people have trouble understanding the mind of an Autistic person. But it's equally hard to understand the mind of a person who has Asperger's. Since we look or behave exactly like you, sometimes when we act in our Asperger's way, you can't really understand us. I do have to say, if there was an antidote to Asperger's I would not take it. Because I would not get rid of what makes me who I am. But I just hope that because of my book, and my showing you the way I learn, and the way I express how I feel, that you guys can understand me much better. And treat people with Asperger's as equals, and calmly give more respect to us, and treat us right, and not consider us as just plain odd people who want to get what they want. And if so, I'll finally be understood, and have a break once in a while.