Living in Two Worlds:
On Being a Social Chameleon with Asperger's
Dylan Emmons has always lived his life in two worlds. Diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of six, his school days were spent struggling to overcome the sensory and social hurdles that made fitting in with his classmates in the 'real world' so hard. An aspiring social chameleon, he attempted to blend in, despite his hidden other world of Asperger's. This book tells the story of his attempt, with the hindsight gained in adult life that it is better to spend energy learning to be happy, than learning to be 'normal'.
By describing the two conflicting worlds of his childhood, Dylan Emmons reveals the reasons behind the actions, mood swings and awkwardness of children on the autism spectrum that can often appear mysterious and unprovoked to neurotypical family members, friends, teachers and professionals.
'Trying to pass for "normal" is exhausting, Dylan Emmons recalls in this appealing coming of age memoir. Candid and humorous, he offers an instructive look at what it's like to grow up with Asperger's, trying to live in two worlds and never feeling fully at home in either. Ultimately, writing becomes his bridge, as he learns to stop wanting to be someone he isn't, and embrace who he is. Readers will be rooting for him long after they turn the last page.'
- Liane Kupferberg Carter, autism advocate, blogger and author of 'Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up with Autism'
'Dylan Emmons is a knowledgeable guide to help us better understand what it's like to live in two worlds. My favorite takeaway is that he is comfortable with who he is and isn't trying to be someone he isn't. As parents, that's the best gift we can give our children: self-understanding and self-acceptance.'
- Brenda Dater, MPH, MSW, author of 'Parenting without Panic' and Director of Child and Teen Services at the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)
'In this gem of a book, Dylan Emmons gives readers a wonderful insight into what it is like to grow up on the autism spectrum. Through learning about his diagnosis and his journey through school, this is most of all a human story written by a clearly extraordinary person and excellent writer. If you were under the misconception that children on the spectrum do not experience a rich emotional life, experience empathy or long for friendships, read this book and wonder at just how much is felt, observed, understood and can be achieved.'
- Davida Hartman, Senior Educational Psychologist and author of 'The Growing Up Book for Boys' and 'The Growing Up Book for Girls'