Raising Cubby
384 pages
2013
ISBN: 9780732297145

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains,Tractors, and High Explosives

$27.99, Paperback
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John Elder Robison

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 to stone when they misbehaved.

Still, John got the basics right. He gave Cubby a life of adventure: by the time Cubby was ten, he'd 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 uncertain. 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. With Cubby facing an expensive trial, and up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally accepting that being 'on the spectrum' is both a challenge and a 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.

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