Christmas, 2007

We closed Robison Service at noon today. I packed Cubby and Martha (Unit 2) into the Rover and headed east. Here we go:

We went to Annie (Unit 3)'s house in Sherborn.

In this photo, you can see (from left) Annie's sister in law Titti, her kids Alice, Alva, and Arvid, Martha, Cubby, Magnus (Unit 3B) holding sign, and his brother Thomas (married to Titti), and Santa.

As some of you know, Santa has had some trouble with the law lately, but we bailed him out so he could make his appearances today. Santa arrived in a pickup truck. There was a very unfortunate mistake over at the game farm where Santa boarded the reindeer. They have promised to raise Santa a new deer team in time for Christmas 2009.

I wonder how many people will be opening copies of Look Me in the Eye tomorrow? It's hard to believe, but I'm now into my fourth month in Amazon's list of top selling biography and memoir

Check back . . . I'll post more Christmas pictures, and I'm announcing some new events. The first one is coming January 7th in Boston . . . . stay tuned . . . .


Kanani said…
Today, as I was standing in my front yard, Santa drove by in a convertible mercedes with a beautiful blonde "elf" in the seat next to him. He stopped and said, "Merry Christmas!" It was one of those Southern California moments when you're reminded that you live amid frolic, sun, palm trees and santas with babes out of the Victoria's Secret catalog.

Merry Christmas John. Thanks for all your kindness.
Polly Kahl said…
Happy Holidays John, and may you and your loved ones have warm times together. Also, you've been tagged!
Lynton said…
Hi John,

Many thanks for your fantastic book!

Having a teenage son with Asperger's, your book has provided not only an amazing insight into the condition but it has also entertained me from start to finish!

Keep writing - you certainly have a gift for it!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Lynton Monis.
Birdwood, South Australia.
Sandra Cormier said…
I got mine this morning! Merry Christmas and drive safely.
Michele said…
Merry Christmas to you and yours, John!!!

I hope it's a wonderful day full of good food, warmth of family and and a season of creating wonderful memories to enjoy in the future.


At least we have a white Christmas this year vs. last year, eh?
Samwick said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Kennedy said…
Merry Christmas, John.
I hope 2008 continues to bring you good things, especially Look Me in the Eye staying on the NYT bestseller list!
Chris Eldin said…
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!
Love the photos!
ssas said…
happy new year, John!
Lisa said…
A very Merry Christmas to you and yours John and continued success in 2008!
Jason and Shell said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tisbury L. said…
Hi, John.
I got your book for Christmas and finished it this morning. Thank you for writing it. It's my favorite present.
Michelle O'Neil said…
Lots of happy faces there. Merry Christmas John!
The Anti-Wife said…
A very Merry Christmas and a propserous new year to you! In this modern age, I think Santa needs a super charged Land Rover.
John Robison said…
Funny you should mention that, Anti-Wife. A Santa accosted me the other night, demanding the car, and I clubbed him repeatedly with my walking stick.

After a short scuffle, Santa ran off into the woods on two legs and a hand, howling like a stuck bobcat.

Who knows if he ever got a Supercharged Rover. All I know is, he didn't get mine.
Polly Kahl said…
OMG, you give the best visuals.
Trish Ryan said…
Glad to hear the whole reindeer thing will be straightened out by next year. It's nice to know Santa has a pickup truck for backup so the presents still get to where they need to go!
Wage Slave said…
I'm one of the people who unwrapped a copy of Look Me In The Eye on Christmas Day. I'm really enjoying it. As a fellow Aspergian, I found a lot that I could identify with.
Rachel E said…
I just finished you book. Fabulous! My younger brother (28) and his wife, my nephew and my son are all Aspergians. You gave me so much insight and knowledge as to what is going on inside.

My son is on the mild side but still aspie. The social struggles are there.

I will be recommending your book to everyone, especially those dealing with Aspergers.
Thank you
Melly said…
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
Merry Christmas! Was that you in the Santa suit? 'Fess up!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Robison said…
Me in a Santa suit, Kim? Newer!

I don't even have a tree.

I'll go visit Santa over at the shipyard, or Monday mornings down at the jail.
John Robison said…
Trish, Santa has had a fleet of pickup trucks since the 1960s population explosion. Most are blue Fords.

Down in Alabama, he's got guys driving white vans. The stencil on the side says "Dade County Coroner"

That's how you identify them.

And the midgets driving em . . . there were never enough elves, so he took to using crew from the circus trade, and even that wasn't enough, so now he uses all sorts of out of work carnies to drive the trucks.
Unknown said…
Hi John Elder
It's a hot (approx 28 degrees C) evening in Western Australia and I'm sitting under a ceiling fan with a tottering pile of books (my favourite kinda Christmas present)on my beside table. Guess which book is at the top of the pile? guessed it. Yours! (But it took a few subtle hints from me to make sure your book was under the Christmas tree :-) I have read your brother's Scissors and Dry...which I thought were brilliant...and then the kind folks at Boffins bookshop told me that your book was even better!! I gotta say it is ;-) (Don't let Augusten see this! Love your work Augie!!)
Anyway, just wanted to say Hi and Well Done John Elder.
from Aussie Girl
(Note to self: Do not ask John to play Santa at Children's Autism Party next year. Send Santa cake with nail file in it.) Got it.

kris* said…
Thank you, I truly enjoyed reading your book.
Take care.
Unknown said…
John, I sent you a personal e-mail on October 24, 2007 thanking you for sharing your story. Please feel free to publish it here, or should I post it myself? I was wondering if it is possible for Santa to navigate by Bovinius...or is there also a reindeer star?

Jim B
John Robison said…
Jim, I did not get it, so either post it here yourself or send it to me again

Unknown said…
Dear John Elder Robison,

I want to thank you for writing your book, Look Me In The Eye and sharing your fascinating experiences with us.

Our son, James, was not diagnosed with Asperger’s until he was in the ninth grade, and even with the diagnosis having been made five years ago, he never really received any effective treatment for it. We tried talk therapy, medication from a psychiatrist, and combination talk and meds. None of these were helpful. I suggested to my wife that we discontinue medication and therapy and she reluctantly agreed. After a couple of months, James became calmer and no worse socially than he was when we started medication. It is only from reading your book that I realize how misunderstood Asperger’s is.

When James was in the first grade, he threw sand on a girl because she did not want to listen to his explanation of how volcanoes work. We tried to encourage him to talk to his peers but he seemed to be shy. Perhaps he was already receiving rejection from the “normal” children. He always said that he wanted friends but that he didn’t know how to make them. We signed him up for T-ball when he was seven. It was about this time that he began showing increased involuntary facial mannerisms and movements of his hands that we later called “flapping”. James could never explain what prompted these movements or what was going on in his mind during these episodes. And he could not control them. Frankly, it infuriated me and I don’t really know why. I hoped he would “grow out of it”.

In the fourth grade, James won the area spelling bee. We always knew that he was extremely bright. He could talk incessantly about any subject that interested him. It could be annoying to us that he could not converse socially and read body language. We would listen for as long as we could, but outsiders found it to be annoying. We were naturally protective of our son and always tried to encourage his interests. When he decided that he wanted a guitar for Christmas, I was very happy because I had started playing the guitar at age fourteen. He progressed rapidly with the instrument technically, although I could see that he wasn’t expressing much emotion musically. I always tried not to make too big a deal about his accomplishments so that he would not become conceited even though I let him know that I was proud of him. When others began to rave about his ability, he dropped the guitar like a hot potato! If something is his idea, he will run with it. I’m hoping that he will pick up your book, but I know that if we suggest it, he will never do it

James needed a new obsession. He started reading books about socialism and communism. He has, to our dismay, continued this interest to the present—at times even advocating revolutionary ideas. I grew up in the era of “run, duck, and cover” and made it clear to him that he could not convince me of the evil nature or our American society. I believe that he has the right to investigate that which interests him. He is not at this time able to support himself in our capitalist society. He is going to junior college(he was accepted to five good universities but we had no funds for it), but at age nineteen he does not have a driver’s license and has never held a job, nor could he live alone at this stage. But we still love him and will do what we can to support and help him.

Your book has helped us understand our son much better and we thank you for it. You have shown us that you likely experience much more emotion than you could ever express and that by teaching yourself to “act normal” you have allowed others to become closer to you. You are absolutely correct that most people are phony and superficial when they engage in small talk, mainly with strangers. This is just the way we are. Finally, you have shown us that, like you, James is just the way he is and that we should embrace it.


James Branch
Unknown said…
John, my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome this August. He turns 7 in a couple of weeks. I bought myself your book as a Christmas gift and read half of the book yesterday (I just cannot put it down). Its a wonderful book and although my son is very young and I'm just learning about Asperger's, your book provides wonderful insights. Happy New Year.

Is there any chance you'll be speaking in Colorado anytime soon?

Sherie in Colorado
advocatemom said…
Dear John,
Just finished your book and it was a wonderful read! I have a 9 year old son on the spectrum who presents like an Aspergian, but cannot be so according to the DSM-IV as he was so language delayed...but after much therapy, he is doing really well. He is in an inclusive classroom and has many pals! Your book gives me much hope for my son's future. My husband and I value our son's unique perspective and his ability to think outside the box. Thanks to you, I can now visualize a productive future for my son. I look forward to meeting you at one of your appearances so that you may sign our copy of your book!

Thank you and Happy New Year!
Andrea said…
Hi John,
Thanks for your book-I got it for Christmas. Our 21 y.o. son has Aspergers. Thank you for explaining the eye contact thing. It really helps hearing it from your point of view. As a mom, it's hard that my son has not looked at me in ?? decades. I miss him even though he is right here. But at least I understand now-thank you.
Happy New Year to you and your family.
Ms. TK said…
I personally am responsible for three people opening your book on Xmas morning.

The reports are positive. Everyone Loves Robison (hey, there's a sitcom in there!)

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Tena Russ said…
Hi John,

Wishing you and your family a fabulous new year!
Gitana said…
I just finished listening to your audio book! I originally bought the book- but I spend alot of time on the road so I couldn't help but to buy the audiobook the very next day! I loved your story . . it was touching and insightful. I work with children that are very affected by their autism, they are some of my best friends- your story inspires me . . . It was fantastic! Thank you for telling it. Happy New Year!
niknak said…
Happy to hear you are not a stranger to Sherborn! A bunch of folks and I are hoping you will come to our regional school (Dover-
Sherborn) and speak to parents about your life, book, etc. I have been in contact with your publicist and will pick it up again now that the holidays are over.

I met you (and had my book signed!) at Barnes and Noble in Framingham. I am such a fan. Read your book a few months ago, and read your brother's book a couple days ago. Was really just looking for his perspective on you, and was disappointed to see so little of his book devoted to you! Not that his story isn't fascinating in itself as well. God Bless both of you, you have endured and conquered so much and with such great humor.

Happy New Year!
Sandra Cormier said…
I'm a few chapters in and already I'm noticing some parallels in behaviour with my husband (wiggle legs) and son (only talks to older people because kids his age just don't get it).

Oh, poor Varmint!
ORION said…
Hey Santa is in a shorts and tshirt here!
No reindeer in sight! Just a couple of mongoose.
Have a terrific Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
massdad said…
Read your book over our Christmas vacation with our grandchildren, a copy of which my wife had purchased for her High School library. Not having knowingly ever encountered an "Aspergian", it made aware of the struggles. (Just thought that many of us 'science-types' were just naturally socially backward to some extent and that is still probably valid.) However, it has made me re-evaluate some of my thinking with respect to all those with whom I come in contact. I think every teenager (and parent) should read this book because even those who are more "down the middle of the road" (in terms of brain "wiring") believe that they are or were "wierd" or " not good enough" in one or more aspects of their lives as adolescents. To see what you have accomplished should be inspirational to many kids. Every kid should be taught to believe that there is something really good that he (or she) can do if they will try hard. Thank you for telling your story. I think you have written an important book. (Plus it is a great read!)
John Robison said…
Quite a few comments from bloggers who got the book for Christmas. I'm not sure what to say, except to make this observation.

Australia, with a population of 20 million, holds three tenths of one percent of the world's population.

In the past two months, there have been 13,104 visitors (from 75 countries) to the main page of this blog. Of that, 508, or 4% of the total, are Australian.

So their contribution here is ten times what you'd expect, given their size. Several of the commenters in this thread are from Down Under.

If I look at all my web traffic, the number is about three times that high, and the Australian share remains the same.

They may be few in number, but they are loud. Go Australia!
Jaclyn said…
I opened "Look Me in the Eye" for Christmas. Finished it last night, and I loved it. I'm so happy you blog, and thank you for writing such a fabulous book!

Popular Posts