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Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism [Paperback]

by Temple Grandin, Kate Duffy, Tony Attwood
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Paperback, March 2004 --  
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Book Description

March 2004 1931282560 978-1931282567 1
This career planning guide is written specifically for high-functioning adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum, their families, teachers, and counselors. The two authors weave together a unique blend of information and advice based on personal experiences. Temple Grandin draws from her own experience with autism spectrum disorders and her professional career, and Kate Duffy uses her expertise on employment issues and the mother of two teenagers with autistic-like behaviors. The result is an extremely useful and practical book that introduces step-by-step processes for the job search with a major section on the impact ASD has in the workplace, including managing sensory problems, how to nurture and turn talents and special interests into paid work, jobs that are particularly suited to individuals on the spectrum, and much more. First-hand accounts of job experiences and advice from individuals representing a broad range of careers particularly suited for high-functioning individuals on the autism spectrum round off this exciting new resource.

Editorial Reviews


This book covers all aspects of the search for suitable careers for individuals on the autism spectrum. -- Lorna Jean King, OTR, founder, The Children’s Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies

This book is a must-read, must-do for young adults and their transition partners from all walks of life. -- Roger N. Meyer, author, Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook

This book is essential for anyone who cares for, teaches, employs or works with someone on the autism spectrum. -- Sue Moreno, founder and president, Maap Services Inc.

About the Author

TEMPLE GRANDIN, Ph.D., is an animal scientist who designs livestock-handling facilities worldwide and is an assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. A frequent lecturer on autism, she is the author of Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Thinking in Pictures and other publications.

KATE DUFFY has owned her own writing business for 16 years in addition to working as a writing and business instructor.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Autism Asperger Publishing Company; 1 edition (March 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931282560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931282567
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Temple Grandin is one of the world's most accomplished and well known adults with autism. She has a PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois and is a professor at Colorado State University. She is the author of six books, including the national bestsellers Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation. Dr. Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with autism, and her work has been covered in the New York Times, People, National Public Radio, and 20/20. Most recently she was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year. The HBO movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes, received seven Emmy Awards.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a parent of a teenager with Aspergers, alot of Ms. Gradin's recommendations confirmed what I already thought: sell the skills not the personality, go into areas where your interests/fixations lie and consider working as a consultant in your area of expertise. Finding recommendations I already thought of didn't make me feel like those parts of the book were a waste. On the contrary, it is nice to have affirmation from an outside source, particularly one intimately knowledgable of autism.

Other recommendations she makes were new to me. I had not thought of them, but they make alot of sense. She encourages people to go out and interview people in their field of choice to learn what they can about the industry. For neurotypical people, this would be akin to networking. For autistics, it is couched in a manner far easier for them to manage. People on the autism spectrum are probably not going to be good at social networking. But they would be very good at the interviews she recommends. She takes classic job networking and reworks it into research. I know my son LOVES researching more information on his interests, but digs in his heels at the thought of socializing.

Ms. Gradin also discusses the different styles of learning/thinking and which jobs are good for those type of people. My son happens to have amazing visual spatial abilities and is currently taking CAD in high school where he is getting straight A's. He now wants to become an architect which is exactly one of the fields Ms. Gradin reommends for visual spatial people on the spectrum.

Other beneficial feature of the book are the list of sources for information, examples of people in a wide selection of fields and Temple Gradin's personal observances.

I'm greatful to Ms.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills a much needed void! April 29, 2004
As a parent of an adolescent with Asperger Syndrome, I found this book easy to read and understand, with practical how-to instructions and guidelines for preparing my son to enter the work force. I really liked the emphasis on developing social and communication skills that are found throughout the book. This is one I will recommend to friends and relatives as well as my son's educators.
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89 of 98 people found the following review helpful
I have read all three of Temple Grandin's books. Each offers a different look at what it is like to experience Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In "Developing Talents" Grandin provides the readers with insight into how parents and educators can assist people with High Functioning Autism/Asperger Syndrome (HFA/AS)achieve success.
Presented in an easy to read format,this book focuses on using one's strengths, natural talents, and special interests to gain
employment and lead successful lives. This book offers helpful strategies to promote such things as addressing sensory needs in the workplace as well as creating a portfolio to showcase one's talents.
In today's society, having marketable job skills is a must. This book gives a proactive look at some of the challenges faced by people with HFA/AS. It is important for parents and educators to introduce the concepts of the book early in the educational careers of these students as the skills are life skills in addition to career skills.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for teens, adults and parents! August 9, 2006
Dr. Grandin has taken her knowledge, expertise and sensitivity one step further in Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. She offers many ideas for those affected by or those working with these individuals. This area is filled with people of talent who are underemployed. An example of one of the suggestions offered - an individual who is interested in cartoons and spends their days drawing - all day - being encouraged to go to a museum of cartooning, learning about different kinds of cartoons, the history of cartoons which expands their interest - meeting others with the same interest. It is not enough to have a talent or the intellectual ability to understand complex things. Without work, Dr. Grandin explains, her life would not have had order, content or meaning. She covers many different kinds of jobs that people on the autism spectrum can accommodate to and ones that would be more difficult for them. The book is well thought out and because Dr. Grandin is herself on the spectrum and spends so much of her time speaking to others at her many presentations she has analyzed a great deal of what works and what does not. This book is an absolute must read! I run a large group for parents, professionals and individuals and it is one of my first recommendations. This book gives concrete suggestions and hope.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Limited information May 22, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By my having AS, along with ADHD, I was looking for a book that would give me some insight on the type of careers that people with AS may gravitate towards and how those with AS cope and succeed in an NT work environment.

For careers, not much insight as the gist was to try and make a career out of your special interest, which can vary among aspies. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it means that the career options are many for those of us with AS.

My second objective of learning how aspies can function effectively in the workplace was more disappointing. Most of the advice was things you could find in traditional career books. Not much on how to interview well, given our social challenges, or how to promote accomplishments because of the tendency to want to work alone. These are just two examples.

The book does a fair job of explaining AS and how it could present challenges in the workplace, but all in all, nothing insightful that can be used to find or succeed in a career.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and Positive Stuff
After having read many books on AS at work, I find it is one of the best.
More recent books, e.g. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin Jean-marc
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't help me
I had high hopes for this book. It didn't help me whatsoever. Disappointed, as I was needing some career guidance. Read more
Published 2 months ago by In the Deep Quiet Night
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Listing of Potential Careers for Focused Interests
This book provides a detailed look at the challenges and solutions for employees (or future employees) with Aspergers. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Karrin Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who are worried about the future of their children with...
If you have an Aspbergers. or work with one, this is a good read. You must think a bit differently, and utilize their existing gifts, which they most definitely have, to encourage... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Love movies that make you think.
5.0 out of 5 stars For help with teenage education planning
Very helpful! I used Temple's suggestions when encouraging my son with modertate to high-functioning Autism (not Asperger) to aim for more computer education so he could find work... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Good resources and hints to help in a career search for those with...
Excellent resources sited for those with, and those helping those with, Asperger Syndrome as they look for suitable life-long employment. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
A wonderful book. Very helpful. Plenty of information and great ideas for young people who are on the Autism Spectrum.
Published 9 months ago by Rhonda J. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars really great book
this book is filled with lots of good advice for people with autism, like about getting work skills and choosing the right career
Published 13 months ago by Allison Shoemaker
4.0 out of 5 stars Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger syndrome and...
I wish this book had been around on my daughter journey to Functioing Recovery. Temple Grandin is so insightful about Autism you can't help but learn from her. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tami A Goldstein
5.0 out of 5 stars So insightful
A very helpful book, easy read, and gives great suggestions on helping people with special needs. I can't wait to apply techniques suggested in the book. Well written.
Published 14 months ago by jw
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