Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 Chapters

( 12 )

Overview

Thus begins a memoir only Jesse Saperstein could write. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, at the age of fourteen, Jesse has struggled with many of the hallmark challenges of the condition–from social awkwardness and self-doubt to extreme difficulty in dealing with change and managing his emotions.

In this endearing and honest book, Jesse shares his unique perspective on:

overcoming ...

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Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 Chapters

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Overview

Thus begins a memoir only Jesse Saperstein could write. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, at the age of fourteen, Jesse has struggled with many of the hallmark challenges of the condition–from social awkwardness and self-doubt to extreme difficulty in dealing with change and managing his emotions.

In this endearing and honest book, Jesse shares his unique perspective on:

overcoming bullying and chronic rejection (you think you had a few awkward years)

coping with compulsions and making peace with ritualistic obsessions (including an enduring love of the postal system)

the bizarre habits of neurotypicals (why don't they just say what they mean?)

the mysteries of dating and sex (“New York City harbors more Jewish women than the entire nation of Israel. All of them have rejected me.”)

finding purpose and strength (hiking the Appalachian Trail, working with teenagers living with HIV/AIDS, and inspiring others with his popular speeches to neurotypical and Asperger's students)

A delightful storyteller, Jesse Saperstein puts a human face on Asperger's–and makes us laugh, empathize, and better understand what it means to see the world through the prism of autism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliant, creative writing. His next book should be a novel."
-Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author of Thinking in Pictures

"With a voice as keen and honest as any I've ever had the pleasure of reading, Jesse Saperstein cracks open the underbelly of life with Asperger's, mesmerizing readers with a tale that is as fabulously incorrigible as it is strikingly compelling. Jesse Saperstein is the son I always wanted!"
-Liane Holliday Willey, author of Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome

"This funny, poignant, and honest book provides further evidence that Asperger's Syndrome is no cookie-cutter diagnosis. Atypical also informs us that Jesse Saperstein is a wonderful addition to the world of Asperger literature."
-Michael John Carley, executive director of The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP) and author of Asperger's From the Inside Out

"Honest, funny, bristling with ideas and intelligence, Jesse A. Saperstein's Atypical marks the debut of a bright young voice from the Asperger's community."
-Tim Page, author of Parallel Play and professor at the University of Southern California

"Amusing, surprising, and informative. Just when I thought I had learned all I can from personal accounts, I had the chance to read this one!"
-Jerry Newport, author of Mozart and the Whale, with Mary Newport and Johnny Dodd

"Jesse Saperstein's wise and compelling memoir lets us know how frustrating and strange life can be for a bright, resourceful young man with Asperger's navigating the typical world. Funny, irreverent, and ultimately forgiving of all the damage we 'well-adjusted' typicals wreak on those who are a little different from us."
-Sigourney Weaver, actress

"By describing his experience with honesty, passion and deep clarity, Saperstein allows a so-called 'neurotypical' like myself to completely identify with his atypicality. A very powerful read."
-Bruce Altman, actor

"Jesse Saperstein is witty, insightful, and smart. He is also caring, social, emotional, empathetic, and able to learn from his mistakes and other people's rudeness-all traits we are often told that people with Asperger's don't have. I highly recommend this book to parents, educators, community members-frankly, to everyone. Jesse, I want to know what happens next; I hope you are working on a sequel!"
-Chantal Sicile-Kira, author of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Autism Life Skills

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399535727
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 619,942
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jesse A. Saperstein

Jesse A. Saperstein graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. A popular speaker in the autism community, he is committed to the cause of demystifying Asperger's and autism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

First Impressions 1

The Cards We Are Dealt 11

Cat-Shit Fantasies and Holiday Greetings 21

Empathy: Real, Artificial, and Different 31

The Inability to Let Go 43

Bar Mitzvah Memories 53

Millerton Days 63

Elizabeth West 73

Collegiate Challenges 85

Psychobabble 95

All the World's an Awkward Stage 105

Teens Living a Greater Challenge 113

Summiting the Stigma 127

A Fractured Fairy Tale 143

Weirdish Romance 155

Listies 167

Speaking Out 173

A Brush with Hollywood 187

A Grave Situation 201

Epilogue 215

Acknowledgments 221

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    "People,regardless of whether they have a social disability, just want to be acknowledged"-- Jesse A. Saperstein, "Atypical"

    As a person who is perpetually intrigued by human psychology, I was eager to read Jesse's memoir of his life thus far as a person living with Asperger's Syndrome.

    I have encountered the Autism Spectrum several times in my life, shared paths with parents and children dealing with such a diagnosis. As a result, I have read much about the world along the spectrum and I believe Jesse's book is a huge asset--to the 'neurotypical' world as well as the Asperger's world.

    To anyone involved in any way with Asperger's, there is special insight offered as well as admonition given to understand, not fix, those who carry the Asperger's label. Jesse says much about how he has had to learn to try and be more 'socially acceptable' , yet at the same time, some simple acceptance is necessary.

    A part of the book that I found particularly heart-tugging was Jesse's writing about his grandparents--his memories of childhood days spent in their home and his poignant portrayal of how their deaths affected him and how he reacted with each event. I cannot describe this part of the book and do it any justice, it must be read first-hand.

    "...people with Asperger's have at least one lesson to teach the population at large: Many problems can be resolved and even avoided altogether by just being a little more direct and honest."

    I have already shared my copy of Atypical with friends who are parenting a child diagnosed with Asperger's in hopes of shining positive light onto their struggles, highlighting the joys to be found and the hopes that shine brightly. Give it a look, I think you'll enjoy the insight!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Jesse

    I met jesse saperstine he came to my school HMS in new york and after he helped me with most of the problums in my school i read his awsome book and check out jesses new sky diveing video on youtube

    Sean hammond

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    Humorous

    An excellent book of what it is like to be the class clown with an undiagnosed case of Asperger's. Hysterical and witty. Highly recommended. And yes Jesse, your uncle Jesse is so cool. Do you think we can be cousins? Please?

    If you have a sense of humor, you will love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    Could not put it down!

    I recently downloaded this book for my nook and can't put it down. I personally know the author and have found it to be a pleasant surprise as to how entertaining the read is. I normally do not read non-fiction, but the style in which this is written is very comical (even though some of the comedy is dark at times). Growing up with Jesse I have often wondered about his "disability" and this explains the inner-workings of his mind without making you pity him. I would recommend this book to anybody interested in learning about Asberger's from a personal perspective. I would also recommend it as a required read to those "teachers" who overlooked bullies because a child "refused" to conform to the norm.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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