Babble has announced its Top 30 Autism Blogs for 2013, and writer John Elder Robison topped the list. A talented writer who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult, he’s also the father of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome. His writings on parenting, his own experiences, and autism in the news are always eloquent, thoughtful, and insightful.
Mr. Robison is also the author of the books Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s, Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger’s and My Advice for Fellow Aspergerians, Misfits, Families and Teachers, and Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors and High Explosives. His writing also appears on CNN and in Psychology Today.
Look Me in the Eye was one of the first books I read when my son was diagnosed at age four with Asperger Syndrome. Three years later, I still find myself returning to it. It’s both an entertaining personal narrative, and an invaluable help in understanding what my son needs from me. It’s also one of the books that was listed on the search results of Adam Lanza’s house. Mr. Robison’s response echoed my own sentiments: why was the book even picked up by the police?
Mr. Robison’s thoughts on the matter illustrate why his blog is an important read for all of us in the autism community: autistic adults and young people, families, teachers, medical professionals, and writers.
“I encourage you to keep the dialogue going,” wrote Mr. Robison, “and remember that there is more at issue here than what some call ‘bad reporting.’ It’s indicative of widespread ignorance that can and does lead to mistreatment of innocent people with autism – adults and children alike.”
John Elder Robison’s blog is one of 30 selected by Babble as the best autism blogs for 2013. I was fortunate enough to be on the panel that was challenged with deciding which blogs would be included in Babble’s list. A master list is compiled from Babble’s editors, contributing writers, and reader recommendations. The panelists (whose own blogs are ineligible to be listed) read several posts from each listed blog, and then grade the blogs on a scale of zero to ten. Numbers are given for an overall list, and in specialized categories. All the panelists’ spreadsheets are then compiled by some massive magical process (my editor informs me that it’s actually, um, math) and the master list is whittled down to the thirty highest-ranked.
There’s an incredibly rich field of blogs to choose from, so unfortunately, not every great blog made the list. Please know that we really and truly do read all the nominated blogs, and that each panelist put a great deal of time and thought into these decisions. You should also know that not being included doesn’t mean a blog isn’t absolutely fantastic. We do, however, believe that there is tremendous value in each one of our selections, and hope that in addition to seeing some old favorites, you’ll find some great new writers you may not have heard of.
(Photo Credit: Facebook/John Elder Robison)
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