Recently, I had a lady walk up to me in the airport and say, “Your book, Thinking in Pictures, saved my marriage. Now I understand my engineer husband, and we are able to work things out.”
Each contributor in this book has a unique story, and my intent is that their stories will provide hope and insight to individuals on the spectrum, as well as parents, teachers, and professionals.
People on the autism spectrum always keep learning. It is never too late to learn new skills, improve relationships, or learn better work skills. To grow, a person on the spectrum has to “stretch.” Stretching is a good analogy, because sudden surprises cause fear. Even individuals my age can learn new skills. When I was writing this introduction, I talked to a family member of a woman in her 60s who has autism. Within the past year, she discovered that the way she dressed herself improved her life, and now she enjoys nicer clothes. The mind of the person with autism can always keep learning. It is never too late to change. A person on the spectrum needs an employer, spouse, or friend who will calmly coach him when he makes social mistakes. He has to be instructed on how to behave, like a character in a play. In my own life, I have gained great insight from reading the writings of other individuals on the spectrum.
- Dr Temple Grandin