March 20, 2020

Three

Michael tells several stories where he has learned something about himself. Which story had the strongest impact on you, and why?
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Isahia Lopez
Isahia Lopez
3 months ago

The Lego Lady story because it was the only one that happened to me

Susan Moenkhaus
Susan Moenkhaus
3 months ago

The Brothers Stim is a chapter I reread. His insight into his brother Matt’s reactions and figuring out how he could have a better relationship with him was loving and honest. It led me to think of my personal relationships with neurotypical people and people with autism and how important it it is to meet people where they are, not where you want them to be.

Jean
Jean
3 months ago

I agree. That was something I knew nothing about. The brother seems in much deeper difficulties than the author and it was nice to read that something had been worked out. enabling them to relate to each other.Then horrible to read that he dies.

Annette
Annette
3 months ago
Reply to  Jean

I loved how it was important for the author to find out how he could learn to relate to his brother.

Michele
Michele
2 months ago
Reply to  Jean

It broke my heart to hear that Matt had died

Sue
Sue
3 months ago

The Brothers Stim was a great chapter. I have always thought that hand-waving, eye movements, etc., were like nervous tics. I didn’t realize they may calm/soothe the ASD. This is information that is useful to know.

Tal
Tal
2 months ago
Reply to  Sue

I agree. My friend had a brother that had ASD and he was a nice boy always exited about things

Noel
Noel
3 months ago

It reminded me of my relationship with my own brother (not autistic, but not neurotypical), and made me wonder if I should try harder to find a way to connect with him. We’re both adults and live far away from each other so there isn’t a good way we can communicate.

Jodee Whitworth
Jodee Whitworth
2 months ago

I loved this part, too! Isn’t that what I should do in every relationship I have! Now I’m more aware of my thoughts and actions. Great insight!!

Lisa
Lisa
3 months ago

I l I’m ed the banana revenge story. It was funny and and impressive to see how honest he was to the bully and how that impacted the bully. Spoke volumes about both characters. I also like how he learns to communicate with his brother. Even neuraltypical people can learn something about hard relationships and changing them

LJ Weber
LJ Weber
3 months ago

The banana revenge story really was just the part I have, am currently, and will re-read over and over again. Plus I love that you called him a Bitch it fits his personality best.

Cindy Cindy
Cindy Cindy
3 months ago

The beginning psychiatrist/psychologist poor behavior vs the 3rd psychologist who clearly understood and was kind. Teachers and schools who are not equipped to deal with anyone outside what is convenient in the schools.

Briar
Briar
3 months ago

I love the story where he talks about not being liked by everybody. I’m not autistic, but I do get into thought loops about random people who, for whatever reason, do not like me. It’s sad and frustrating, but as the author says, not worth my time. Also that it’s short, so life should be fun. If you’re not zinging with a situation, get out of it! A great book full of life advice. Can’t wait to see what the author continues to do in the future.

Bree
Bree
3 months ago
Reply to  Briar

That’s exactly how I felt too! It’s so exhausting when you want everyone to like you, and they don’t. It’s amazing that Michael was able to learn this early on and be able to accept it. How do you avoid those “thought loops” as you put it?

elisa
elisa
3 months ago

The LEGO Psychologist because not everyone is kind and I feel that some people people are like that to everyone even neurotypical people

Jim Kurchak
Jim Kurchak
3 months ago

His ongoing need to be accepted by his peers at school. It’s such a universal story that so many of us went through, with the same sort of misunderstandings as to why we didn’t fit in. It was so nice to see that he learned to let those things go, and understand to just live life to the fullest.

Sue
Sue
3 months ago

The green water balloon at a birthday party was a story that impacted me. “Run with it!” As I read this story, I thought of the young boy, in possession of a balloon in his favorite color, not wanting to part with it. I understand that feeling. I also the sensibility in Michael’s response to, “Just run with it!”

nadia
nadia
2 months ago
Reply to  Sue

I also liked that story – as many people talk very “figuratively” and some others (with second language, brain injury)also have difficulty understanding the meaning of the word.

Deanna
Deanna
3 months ago

The struggles he had with learning who was making fun of him and how it made him suspicious and distrustful of everyone. As if he didn’t feel isolated enough. I’m sure it was easier to just assume they were the enemy rather than try to figure it out.

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Deanna

I agree, I have a sister just like this.

Ria Dhake
Ria Dhake
3 months ago

The bully and banana story had the strongest impact on me. I understood that sometimes people can be a little misguided about us and that we should help them understand that.

Jeffrey Poulin
Jeffrey Poulin
3 months ago

The section about “stims” struck home. Made me slightly self conscious about mine at first, but in the end just more aware.

Lisa parker
Lisa parker
3 months ago

How he learned about his brother and his ways of communication with him,knowing how to relate to him.

Katie
Katie
3 months ago

Michael’s childhood stories of being bullied/picked on stood out to me. I teach students with disabilities in grades K-2 and several of them have ASD. My heart broke reading Michael’s experience with the snowball fight. He was unaware that he was the butt of the joke and was smiling back at the bully, following his social script. Michael’s brother stepped in to advocate for him, but that did not stop the bullying. Many children do not have someone that will stand up for them. Teaching students how to know when someone is being genuine versus mean is incredibly difficult, especially… Read more »

Jule
Jule
3 months ago
Reply to  Katie

Katie, we need more teachers like you.

Mary lowery nelson
Mary lowery nelson
3 months ago

I believe the moment he realized he could advocate for others with his same diagnosis, led me to review my own activism. I saw his bravery in displaying calm rational defenses for other people in his classes with ASD as an inspiration to do more, and do it better when advocating for those who, for whatever reason, canmot do so for themselves.

cory
cory
3 months ago

i’m only on chapter 5, but the what he said about his difficulty in interpreting social cues and classmates taking advantage of him really reminds me of a classmate of mine with autism. i’m not sure where he stands on the autism spectrum, but it’s pretty obvious by the way he talks he’s different. but since he’s one of the mathematical genius types of autistic (sorry, i don’t know much about autism- please don’t get offended. i’m just explaining this the way i know how), our class, which was kind of all the advanced kids, did socially connect with him,… Read more »

Devangi
Devangi
3 months ago

I liked the story about transit pass very telling. The fact that the pass expires at the end of each month and how it may not seem apparent to some. I am guilty of wondering why some places list the obvious and it was a slight shock to realize the author;s explanation as one of the reasons. It gave me pause, and now I am sure I’ll think twice before rushing to conclusion. A very fine lesson in a simple manner.

Bonnie
Bonnie
3 months ago

There are too many wonderful anecdotes! One of my favorites was “Good Cop, Transit Cop”. Ha! The cop dialogue was great. They were so delighted to catch Michael. Phone court!!!!! What a riot. I enjoyed that Michael actually got to see and take credit for the resulting change on the TTC website

Diane L Reisz
Diane L Reisz
3 months ago

He tried to change his tribe but found best [friends with aspies

hayley weston
hayley weston
3 months ago

it is like if watch a good movie or read a book

Trinidy Schmidt
Trinidy Schmidt
3 months ago

How he learned about his brother’s non-verbal ques with the Disney sing-along VHS. I am so happy that he made that connection with him and was able to spend that quality time with him.

Debra Guidorini
Debra Guidorini
3 months ago

for me, the story where he realizes that in a group there will always be someone who doesn’t like you no matter what.

Sophia Varnam
Sophia Varnam
3 months ago

The banana revenge story because it was funny how Michael was honest to the bully, and how the bully thought about that.

Kolleen
Kolleen
3 months ago

I think Michael’s story about the bully Harold had the strongest impact on me. I thought since Michael does suffer from ASD and Harold was so popular, he may have misinterpreted Harold’s personality as bullying because of his disability.

Madison
Madison
3 months ago

The story that had the strongest impact on me was when Michael as the the conference and realized that his younger brother Marty had only been trying to connect with him by kicking him out of bed and getting him to change the VHS tapes for him. Michael had felt bad at the time because he told his brother that he wouldn’t keep changing the tapes for him because he found his behaviour annoying, hoping it would make him stop, which it did not. Michael feels very badly when he realizes him brother was only trying to reach out to… Read more »

Janabug
Janabug
3 months ago

I was really struck with how being called “inspirational” was so deflating for him. What was meant as a compliment and word of appreciation really just felt very othering and diminishing. A good lesson for everyone.

Kyle Sommer
Kyle Sommer
3 months ago

I loved the chapter here today, improv tomorrow. This was the chapter that talked about his experiences working at the film summer camp. The mistakes he made with the soda and the merchandise were stressful enough to give up on. However the strength that Mike displayed with his honest effort and eagerness to please were touching. Whats even more touching was the people that allowed him to improve. They turned the boulders in his path into stepping stones. I would like to conclude my reply with my favorite quote from the passage. “You should say yes to life when it… Read more »

Ana
Ana
3 months ago

How his brother was bidding for connection. This is relevant to all of us as humans

Jennifer Webinger
Jennifer Webinger
3 months ago

I taught an aspergers boy in 5th and 6th grade. The chapter on Stims was eye opening.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 months ago

There many stories that both brought a tear to my eyes or a smile to my face. The story about writing a Sponge Bob alternative play in 3rd grade was humorous and poignant. Mike had , to use an old fashioned word, gumption!! His confidence and the support of his parents, teacher and the classmates in their performance clearly impacted his psyche and perhaps helped lay some part of the foundation for his success as a comic, writer and opened him to the support and understanding he gave himself and others through life. Nature and nurture. Genetics and epigenetics. I… Read more »

Sanne
Sanne
3 months ago

I liked hearing about the authors summer camp experiences both as a camper and later as staff.

Maria
Maria
3 months ago

I was impressed that he learned how to deal with bullies, and was incredibly impressed with his amazing parents.

Mirrani
Mirrani
3 months ago

I feel as if the stories that touched me the most were where he admitted his faults and reminded us that we all make mistakes, but the difference between his and ours is the way he feels and reacts to them. I think most of the camp stories, like the one of the soda in the freezer, really made me wonder not only what I would do, but see his reaction from his point of view.

T Campbell
T Campbell
3 months ago

Connecting being on the spectrum to having hypersensitive senses, eg, my eyes being sensitive to bright light, not liking the feeling of cold air blowing on my skin, being hypersensitive to tastes & smells, & being sensitive to loud noises, especially voices.

Also the banana revenge story. I did this with banana slugs in a bully’s sleeping bag at 6th grade camp.

Janet Sullivan
Janet Sullivan
3 months ago

There were several lines that I wrote down as I thought they were so insightful. They mainly had to do with how Michael handled bullying incidents: “When you see someone naked in front of you – emotionally or physically – you come very accepting of their vulnerability”…About the banana incident: “I figured out that people don’t usually change if you put bananas in their desks. When they change is if you help them see the other as a human being.” Both of these sentences are really about seeing value in everyone no matter who is looking and who is being… Read more »

carol
carol
3 months ago

The moment when Michael realized that his brother asking him to do a chore for him was actually a way for his brother to communicate with him, to feel closer; I’ll look at the behaviors of my student in a new light.

Phreia
Phreia
3 months ago

For me it was the story about how he had his own epiphany relating to his brother Michael. It really have me my own epiphany that I have been using with my daughter. She has severe ADHD (and possibly something else, we are waiting for other diagnosis.) Lately when she has been overly fixating or upset I find that trampoline moment. It has made such a difference. It seems like such a small thing but it is so much more; like the latch to the door into her world. (Anyone’s world.)

Denice
Denice
3 months ago

I think the elementary school moments really impacted me especially his older brother intervening when he was being mistreated by others my favorite quote was just because someone is smiling and acting nice does not mean they are telling the truth

Casey
Casey
3 months ago

I loved the trampoline story, the idea of finding something you both enjoy and making time for it so you can connect.

Megan
Megan
3 months ago

The story of the realization about his brother’s reasons for his behaviors was the most resonant for me. I’m in education and we spend a lot of time trying to “uncover” the reasons for behavior so we can help the child grow from that space. The “aha” he felt is one I have felt many times and love (I, too, utter the phrase, “I’m an idiot!” on a fairly regular basis).

Tiffany
Tiffany
3 months ago

I found the TTC pass story impactful because it’s a misunderstanding that could have happened to anyone, neurotypical or autistic, but the officers were so aggressive about it until the author told them he has autism. I think that although things should be communicated properly even if they seem obvious, it’s important to have compassion for everyone, not only people with a DSM-5 diagnosis. Also, I related to the “adulting” experience and the effort to be independent.

Ken
Ken
3 months ago

The story about making the spongebob play. Because it showed him that he could do what he wanted.

Tresha
Tresha
3 months ago

I liked the story of his first being in a play and forgetting the lines on purpose to get a laugh.

Emily
Emily
3 months ago

The story of how he and his brother treat the bully.

Karen
Karen
3 months ago

My big impact story from, Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic, was when the author, who is on the spectrum himself, did not immediately identify his brother’s STIM. It gave me hope that if a ‘pro’ can’t see something, the best thing is to keep trying! #BigLibraryRead #GlobalBookClub

Denise
Denise
3 months ago

Probably.the Sponge Bob.play. I wrote a play for my sisters and I to perform.just for our parents. I had to keep stepping in to correct them and by the end of the performance I think I had taken over all the parts. I am neurotypical however I still feel like I can really ready to the pain and frustration. The author Micheal does not appreciate when neurotypical people say they have the same experience. I can understand where he is coming from but having a similar moment helps us to relate though we need to understand is that for MY… Read more »

Mal
Mal
3 months ago

the 2 stories that make laugh are the lego lady and him quoting movies when he was little

nadia
nadia
2 months ago
Reply to  Mal

Yes, he described it so well that I could see me in that room and wondered… is she a doctor? is she dealing with a child? Have I ever done that?:(

Jule
Jule
3 months ago

I learned from the story about his listening to a speaker who talked about repetitive annoying behavior being an attempt to connect and Michael had an outloud aha realization about his brother. When I read that passage I had the same reaction and realized that I need to view things differently and have a little more patience with some annoying behavior.j2ifs

Deanna
Deanna
3 months ago

The story of his brother’s death at the end. People can be hyper sensitive or hyposensitive. High or low functioning. But this is a disorder that can have real consequences. This family was a tight knit unit. But so many are not. We have to look out for each other.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I really appreciated the part where he worked at the film camp that he also attended as a camper when he was younger. He felt that everyone was starting to get irritated/ angry with him for messing up the math part of his job and started to feel isolated. He almost left it at that and gave up, which is something that I can really relate to. It’s so easy to throw in the towel when things don’t go your way or if you are perceiving the situation as a personal loss. He decided to take control of the situation… Read more »

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