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The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
These two topics are interwoven throughout the book, and I agree with other reviewers here that this book probably has a wider audience than what the authors may have originally surmised. However, because I have read so much with regard to autism, potential readers of this book should be aware that the criticisms from autistic readers that Grandin mentions in this book about her past assertions with regard to how "thinking in pictures" is a common trait across autistic individuals, might cease but be redirected toward the fact that Grandin heavily concentrates on high functioning autism, not the entire spectrum. The DSM-5 may no longer include different degrees of autism, but even Grandin explains her reservations about DSM diagnoses. Potential readers just need to keep in mind that the vast majority of her focus here is on those with high functioning autism like herself.Read more ›
The chapter called "Lighting Up the Autistic Brain" asks the question what does an autistic brain look like -- and is it different from a brain that has suffered trauma/injury? Grandin takes us to Schneider's Pittsburgh lab, where HDFT technology is literally lighting up those differences. For those of us with brain injuries, HDFT can illuminate which fibers are damaged and how many. But, as Schneider tells us, the autistic brain is *not* damaged. He says: " we're looking at anomalous growth, be it genetic, be it developmental, etc.,within that process." In other words, the autistic brain is not the product of trauma. It is not damaged. It's *different.* I'm still pondering the profundity of this concept and how the book leads us to examine the autistic differences of being.
*The Autistic Brain* is part memoir and part scientific exploration of the multiple differences of the autistic brain. Don't be but off by the science part of it. Temple Grandin writes in a way that is uncomplicated and direct. She makes sense of a very complex subject. (Her explanation of the "kinds" of autism is one of the best I've ever read.) Because she lives the differences inherent in autism, we come to see those differences and respect them. Grandin calls these different ways of thought Picture Thinking, Word/Fact Thinking, and Pattern Thinking. In the margin of my copy, I wrote: The theory of multiple intelligences for people with autism. Right on!Read more ›
She also is very clear on focusing on strengths--obviously there are deficits in the autistic brain, but why not focus on what they CAN do well? She also includes some resources in the back for exploring different jobs and on-line learning and apps and such. And she herself is such an inspiration. I met her at a conference once. She is so intelligent, although also straightforward and to-the-point (although she can be funny) and is so successful -hey, maybe my kids can also be successful!
Grandin contradicts her tenets about the genetics of autism being beneficial to society and providing an evolution advantage in previous writings now that the research of Jonathan Sebat and others refute what she's said in the past.
The subsequent chapters involving the tests are not as interesting as these previous chapters.
She gives her old pat and simplistic solutions about how easy it is for persons with autism to find work. As a person on the spectrum who had to retire at age 51 due to multiple problems in the workplace and numerous terminations, I know there are no simple answers and obsessions usually cannot be channeled into careers and social skills as easily taught as she makes them out to be. The example of the autistic being suitable as an airport screener due to good attention to details misses the boat in that the people contact under adverse circumstances on this job would tax the autistics lack of social skills.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book. Everyone who works in autism should have it! The focus on neurology helps create a balance in the perception of autism, ie the marriage of the power of the mind... Read morePublished 1 month ago by margaret mary golding
Thank you Dr Grandin for explaining the neurological aspect of The Autistic BrainPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book help me to understand some of the breakdown of autism. I feel like this book will help me as an educator.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have seen Dr. Grandin in person and have been amazed at her ability to translate her experiences for neuro-typical people. This book does the same.Published 2 months ago by Kathleen Oviatt
This is not my usual genre, and there were too many acronyms and statistics but it has interesting insight into the way autistic people think. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tyson