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{Jack Robison aka Cubby}

Jack Robison giving a talk at St. Joes, march 2011.Today, scientists believe autism is the result of genetic predisposition, and environmental influences. That’s certainly how it looks to me, too. My dad had many Aspergian traits, though no one recognized them during his lifetime. I’m sure countless people grew up with undiagnosed Asperger’s in the 1930s and '40s.

My own son was always "different," too. At first, we thought he might have ADHD. Now, we know different. He has Asperger’s too. And so does his mom.

When I was growing up, my greatest special interests were electronics and machines. My son’s interest is chemistry. Like many young people who explore organic chemistry, my son was fascinated by "energetic reactions," or explosives.

A less inquisitive kid might have contented himself with reading chemistry text books. A less brilliant kid might not have figured out how to make state-of-the-art compounds that were not even classified by the ATF or FBI. A less Aspergian kid might have realized that investigators who looked at his "instructional" Youtube videos might have seen something more than was really there.

When they finally came calling, in the winter of 2008, the ATF agent in charge of the scene turned to me and said, “Mister Robison, I can see that your son is not a criminal. Somewhere in the US, every year, the ATF finds a Boy Scout genius with a chemistry set. This is your year.”

You can read the story of that encounter in my newest memoir, Raising Cubby, in stores January 2013.

My son, his girlfriend, and Wrong Planet founder Alex Plank have started a series, Autism Talk TV, where they talk about autism issues.

All of them are available to speak at schools and events. Contact us if you’d like to discuss a booking.

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