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.
This book is absolutely amazing. I have 2 children with Asperger's and Temple Grandin's insight into why people with autism have certain behaviors was eye-opening. It also gave me a whole new perspective on what thought processes may effect their ability to learn abstract things and socialize with others. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Even if you don't personally know someone with autism it can certainly give you a first-hand look at how different people think differently.
This is a must-read book for parents, professionals, and teenagers/adults living with autism (it is not appropriate for younger readers). It is easy to read, entertaining and informative. Readers will come away with a greater understanding of autism and how widely the spectrum of autistic disorders can vary, as well as what to do to help someone with autism. Ms. Grandin's greatest gift lies in her ability to understand both the worlds of non-autistics and autistics alike. Using her personal experiences as well as significant contributions from other people, she explains how baffling the world is to a person with autistism, in terms of unwritten social codes, our reliance on verbal thinking, relationships, appearances, etc. She discusses concrete ways in which autistics can be helped to integrate with society -- in families, friendships, other relationships, schools, and jobs. Her chapter on medication is valuable, discussing how autism often requires different doses than are commonly prescribed. This is information that isn't readily available unless you are working with a physician who has extensive experience with autistic patients. Since an autistic person is highly sensitive, the effects of behavior modification medications are often amplified, requiring a lower dose. Particular attention needs to be given to medication combinations. There is also information on many of the related disorders that often accompany autism, such as sensory integration disorders, Tourrette's Syndrome, ADD, etc. Everything is written from the perspective of the autistic with Ms. Grandin acting as translator. Besides being informative, the book is optimistic in its view of autism. Ms. Grandin plainly credits autism for her success in her chosen profession.Read more ›
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I have a 6-year-old autistic son. Though we love him tremendously, my wife and I have struggled greatly in raising him. This breakthrough book has helped us approach our interactions with him in a more effective manner. It also sheds precious insight into the autistic world for any curious or thoughtful person with an interest to know more. Thank you Temple Grandin for your remarkable achievements in life, which give us great hope for our son. And thank for giving us invaluable perspective on autism. You have blessed the lives of countless people.
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Whether you know anyone with Asperger's or not, this book will enlighten and expand your thinking about how minds work and what it means to be human. As in most areas, most people assume that other people think and perceive the same way that they do, and that this is the "only right way to do it." But when everyone thinks the same way, break-through thinking is almost impossible.
Reading this book I wondered if, without the awe-inspiring differences, we would have ever moved out of mud huts. It seems to me that the lessons stretch far beyond what it means to have Aspergers, although learning what that means is an incredible gift.
We need to treat our differences with awe, wonder and respect and recognize how people who are "differently wired" have helped to shape our world.
Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin (page cites) Emergence: Labeled Autistic, by Temple Grandin The Way I See It, by Temple Grandin
These are excellent books for anyone dealing with autistic people. Temple Grandin, Ph.D. describes her own autism in Thinking in Pictures, with her brain's profound difference from other people's. Oliver Sacks, the brilliant neurologist, says "Temple does not romanticize autism, nor does she downplay how much her autism has cut her off " from others (xviii). For her words are a second language; basically her perceptions, her understanding of the world is in pictures. Emergence is devoted to her early childhood while Thinking concentrates more on her adult life. She used her faculties successfully and now one-third of cattle and hogs in the United States are processed in systems she has designed. To design this equipment, Temple uses her special visual thinking abilities to examine blue-print simulations three-dimensionally. She can run images over and over in her head, from different angles, to study them and improve their design.
After talking with hundreds of families and individuals with autism or Asperger's, Temple has come to see three basic categories of specialized brains: visual thinkers, music and math (or pattern) thinkers, and verbal logic thinkers, and recommends that there be more educational emphasis on building the strengths of each individual rather than trying to repair deficits. Each group brings its own strengths. After briefly describing her own early childhood behavior, Temple notes that within each brain pattern category there are different levels of ability, from high performing to savant, from Asperger's to Kanner-type autism.Read more ›