How was it when you were in high school? Did you realize how different you were from everybody else?
I couldn't figure out why I didn't fit in. The only places I could get away from all the teasing was with the shared interests. The other students that were interested in horse back riding or science lab, they were not doing the teasing. Those were refuges away from teasing, those specialized activities. And I think it's very important to get these young Asperger nerdy kids into these specialized activities where they're going to have peers who are also interested in computers or playing music or playing chess or building robots or anything. If I hadn't had my science teacher when I was in high school, I would have been in a real mess.
Can you tell our readers in what ways he was such an important figure in your life?
One of the things he did was to get me to start studying. I wasn't studying. I didn't see any point in going to school. Once I became convinced that I wanted to achieve this goal of becoming a scientist, I stopped messing around and started studying. Because now I had a goal of becoming a scientist.
Let's go back to learning this language and being in a play and understanding how you have to function to get through life. You also had a mentor who walked you through it, which must have been important, who clued you in.
I remember reading that one of them men you worked tossed a deodorant to you once.