I was so excited to receive Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison in the mail last week!
Autism awareness has grown significantly over recent years, and most people know someone on the spectrum. There are many things we do not know yet, but research is ongoing, and there is a lot of support for the Autism community. This has not always been the case, and I think that Raising Cubby did an excellent job at reminding or informing us how far we’ve come as a society in regards to Autism awareness and support.
Raising Cubby is John Robison’s memoir. He discusses his struggles growing up “different” in a world where he was labeled as “lazy” and “stupid” for having Asperger Syndrome. He grew up believing that he was stupid, and because he struggled in school, he dropped out once he got to high school. Robison would prove to everyone that he was not stupid by successfully making a career out of electronics. He and Mary AKA Little Bear were married young, and from the union, Jack was born, or Cubby as he was nicknamed.
It wasn’t until well into adulthood, that Robison was diagnosed as having Asperger’s. He had trouble accepting it, but once he analyzed all the traits, he recognized that it all fit. His denial soon turned to relief as he found that he finally had a label for what caused him so much grief earlier in his life. Although, this did not help seeing the signs that Cubby was also autistic. Cubby was not formally diagnosed until he was 17.
There was one thing that bothered me in this book, and this was the sexist portrayal of women. Robison claimed Little Bear had a certain role to play because she was the woman and was required to do most of the hard and dirty work involved with raising a child. While he, being King of the House, was only responsible for the fun stuff. Women were not described in a good light, but then I read a line that made me feel better. Robison wrote,
One of the key markers of Asperger’s and autism in general is blindness to the non-verbal signals of others. One of the ways that manifests itself is in self-centeredness. Folks on the autism spectrum don’t behave in a self-centered way to be mean or take advantage; they do it because they don’t “get” the signals others are sending. This trait has caused me a lot of trouble in life, and it looked like it was affecting my son the same way.
Upon reading this, I understand this is his perception of what life is. He doesn’t mean to come across as rude. It made me slightly less angry.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, and I greatly appreciate all he and Cubby do for the Autism community. They give hope to everyone on the spectrum, as well as the family and friends that love them. It was a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn a bit more about Asperger’s and Autism in general.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I would like to clarify that even though I did receive this book for free, it was only done for an honest review. If you would like more information on the book or author, please use the links below.