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A Real Person: Life on the Outside Hardcover – 4 Sep 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press; 1st edition (4 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285633988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285633988
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Autism has finally come out of the closet... life-affirming account of her trance-like journey. -- Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb. 1999
Format: Hardcover
A stunning account of growing up with Asperger's syndrome (high-functioning autism), this book conveys autistic thinking and emotions with outstanding clarity, especially when it comes to the baffling world of school. It also describes the emotional damage done by going undiagnosed until her twenties, and by misguided "therapy".
I have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome myself. When I read this book, I cried (something I never do), and then rushed out to buy more copies and hand them out to everyone I care about, saying "Read this, it explains everything."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jharpur" on 30 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Gerland is classfied as having Asperger Syndrome, but given her background one could assume that she also has a bundle of atypical features. The book describes an extremely abusive and violent childhood within an astonishingly dysfunctional family. Gerland descibes her journey through this period of her life with a 'matter of fact' style. What I found most interesting about the book, was the way in which delinquency (or at least hanging out with delinquents) helped her come to terms with Asperger Syndrome. Among the drug addicts and petty criminals she was accepted as just another member of the gang. Here in the midst of this dysfuntional subculture her life acquired a certain meaning and worth. Gerland uses quite striking metaphors to capture her state and perceptions. One wonders if some therapeutic lessons can be drawn from her experiences. However despite the interesting and poignant vignettes, the book could have been more sharply edited for the ear of an English speaker (Gerland is Scandinavian).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Book does not only explain everything about human behaviors, but also how they have become the ways they are in our society. I cried when I read this book and realized that this world is never meant for someone so pure and honest. There is no life without lies, white lies .. or worse.
The world would definitely be a better place if everyone get to read and be enlightened by this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This isn't just an interesting and moving biography, but also an excellent description of what the world is like for a person with Asperger Syndrome.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read 23 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the most eloquent first-hand accounts of growing up with an undiagnosed autistic spectrum condition, this book should be compulsory reading for anyone working with, teaching or parenting people on the spectrum.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
10 out of 10 for honesty 27 Aug. 2005
By housewife - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a brutally honest account of the childhood, adolescence and beginning of adult life of an intelligent and insightful woman who did not recieve a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome until adulthood. It shows a side of the "Aspergers experience" that one doesn't read about often, a family and school that were anything but supportive, and the lonely experience of knowing that one is different from other people, but not knowing why. If you didn't know that aspies (people with Asperger syndrome) are often treated really badly by "normal" people, have a read of this book, you will find it informative, but perhaps a bit depressing. I hope the author sent a copy of this book to the evil aunt when it was published!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Calling All Adults on the Spectrum! 30 May 2006
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are an adult with Asperger's Syndrome, which is the spectrum partner to autism, make this book your best friend. Believe me, you will be glad you did because Gerland takes readers through her odessy of ill treatment by people lacking understanding of her sensori-neurobiological condition.

This book is an excellent insider's view of what it means to have Asperger's Syndrome and to cope with sensory issues and baffling behavior on the part of neurotypical (NT) counterparts. One of the most frustrating things people on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum encounter and endure is not knowing when the Tacit Social Codes & Rules will change. These Rules change always at the behest of the NT population and seems always to suit the needs of the NT population. Gerland has done an admirable job of providing a voice for those with AS. At last people on the spectrum have had their turn at bat - knowing what undefined differences are can make all the difference in the world in helping people on the a/A spectrum cope. Once armed with such knowledge can one gain a better understanding of things that always seemed so nebulous.

This book deserves a place of high honor. It will enrich and empower people and generate tolerance, understanding and ultimately acceptance among the NT population. We need this book!
Difficult to read 21 July 2013
By C. Alvarez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This had to have been a difficult book for the author to write. I bought it because there are two Asperger people in our family, hoping to gain more insight about AS. She tells her story with candor and it made me realize all the more what a terrible struggle it is for people on the spectrum to survive in the world of neurotypicals. I thank her for her bravery.
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