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A Different Kettle of Fish A Day in the Life of a Physics Student with Autism

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Book - A Different Kettle of Fish A Day in the Life of a Physics Student with Autism

by: Michael Barton

About the author:

Michael Barton is a final year student studying Physics at the University of Surrey, UK. He gives talks to a wide range of audiences about his experiences of being at the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum, emphasising the positive aspects and relating these to the traits that scientists exhibit. Michael is an accomplished musician, playing jazz piano, bass guitar, French horn, drums and percussion (including spoons) with a variety of bands. Michael is also the President of the University Judo club and is a keen rock climber. For more information see He lives in Guildford, UK.

ISBN: 978-1-84905-532-1

Year: 2014

Publication Info: 72pp


I’m looking at the Solar System display when I hear a child close by shouting at his mum, to which she replies”‘No need to bite my head off!” I’ve heard of laughing your head off (to laugh a lot) and even biting your tongue (to be quiet) but biting someone’s head off puts a rather more vivid picture into my mind!

During a trip to London, taking in tube announcements, guitar shops, and the Science Museum Michael Barton explores and explains the confusing “neurotypical” world of contradictory signage, hidden meanings and nonsensical figures of speech.

His quirky and comic illustrations bring to life the journey from the comfort of his familiar university surroundings into the hectic bustle of central London.

A fun and enlightening read for friends, family, caring professionals and anyone interested in an alternative viewpoint on the world. Sure to “strike a chord” with other day trippers on the autism spectrum.



Foreword by Delia Barton. Introduction. 1. Journey into the Unknown. 2. Would Alan Turing have passed the Turing Test?. 3. How long would a jumbo jet take to get to Pluto?. 4. Payment by Chicken. 5. Assorted Pig Organs. 6. The World is your Lobster. 7. Back in a Familiar World. Afterword. Glossary of Idioms.



Fascinating! On the one hand this book describes a journey into London through the eyes of a young man with autism, but beneath the surface is a voyage of self-discovery as Michael addresses his autism head-on and finds his place in the world. Highly recommended.


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