Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives (Hardback)
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DescriptionThe slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad's relationship with his equally offbeat son--complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn't a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When his son, Cubby, asked, "Where did I come from?" John said he'd bought him at the Kid Store and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would "do all chores." He read electrical engineering manuals to Cubby at bedtime. He told Cubby that wizards turned children into stone when they misbehaved. Still, John got the basics right. He made sure Cubby never drank diesel fuel at the automobile repair shop he owns. And he gave him a life of adventure: By the time Cubby was ten, he'd steered a Coast Guard cutter, driven a freight locomotive, and run an antique Rolls Royce into a fence. The one thing John couldn't figure out was what to do when school authorities decided that Cubby was dumb and stubborn--the very same thing "he" had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger's too? The answer was unclear. One thing "was" clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant chemist--smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring state and federal agents calling. Afterward, with Cubby facing up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally coming to terms with being "on the spectrum" as both a challenge and a unique gift. By turns tender, suspenseful, and hilarious, this is more than just the story of raising Cubby. It's the story of a father and son who grow up together. Praise for John Robison's first book, "Look Me In the Eye" "Lean, powerful in its descriptive accuracy and engaging in its understated humor...Emotionally gripping." --"Chicago Tribune" "A fantastic life story told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality." --"Entertainment Weekly" "Endearing...Robison is a natural storyteller." --"Boston Globe"
- Published: 25 March 2013
- Format: Hardback 304 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780307884848 ISBN 10: 0307884848
- Sales rank: 117,395
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Reviews for Raising Cubby
- Top review
Funny, moving and quite captivating
Raising Cubby is the third book by American author, classic car restorer and Aspergian, John Elder Robison. In it, he details the challenges faced by a father with Asperger's Syndrome as he tries to raise a child whom he belatedly learns has the same condition. From describing the plight of a person who cannot detect behavioural cues trying to understand a baby, through making up bedtime stories, battling with inflexible school authorities and finally on to the high school chemistry hobby that brings the ATF visiting and ends with a court appearance, Robison's narrative is often hilarious, occasionally poignant and always interesting. Robison's imaginative explanations are a great source of humour: how Santa got his reindeer; where babies come from; flying lizards; children with tails; nuclear horses; and being bear bait. He takes a novel approach to getting his son to sleep. Looking at trains takes on a whole other meaning with Cubby and his dad. Together they practice the economies of labour unique to bachelors; they experience their own version of the running of the bulls; they design their own house; they even get to be Chairman Mao (for a short while). Bizarre behaviour can become perfectly logical when explained by an Aspergian. It is gratifying to read just how positive Robison remains despite all the challenges and setbacks he has faced. This memoir is a fascinating look into the very different world of the Aspergian. Funny, moving and quite captivating. by Marianne Vincent
NOT YOUR TYPICAL FAMILY
John Elder Robison's life hasn't been typical. Raised in what some might call a dysfunctional family, he spent years wondering why he didn't fit in with others. His slant on life was slightly skewed and he did not fit in the traditional public school. Socially awkward, he had few friends until he met a girl he called Little Bear. Friends for years, their relationship finally turned romantic. After a few years of marriage, she gave birth to their only son, who John nicknamed Cubby. Although many of his quirks were his and his alone, he was similar enough to his parents that it may amaze readers to find that he was not diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until many years after they were diagnosed.
This is an inspirational story of two parents, themselves "different", who managed to find a way to cope with a world they did not always understand while raising a child who also found the world to be a difficult place. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, it is also a touching tribute to the triumph of the human spirit.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." by THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK