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Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-functioning Autism- Updated, Expanded Edition Paperback – November 1, 2008
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This is Temple Grandin's most practical and generous work yet. She offers so very much of herself and her real life experiences. Kate Duffy's compassion, empathy and positive attitude pervade the very fiber of this book. The guidelines and suggestions are clear, creative and useful in real-life application. The many specific examples of real people with AS in their careers are invaluable, especially to the AS population. While the book was written for people with AS, it is an essential work for anyone who cares for, teaches, employs or works with someone on the spectrum. It will go to the top of my recommended reading list! --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.
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Top customer reviews
While this was geared toward folks in the Aspberger's realm, it didn't provide much more than what similar books provide. Yes, it is a good book, but it is nothing special. Recommended, but not highly recommended.
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. Gradin for writing books on autism. As hard as I try to understand my son, the fact that my brain is wired differently then his means I will always approach him with a bias, unintentional or otherwise. Her books clarify and explain things I could ponder for years and still not quite grasp.
I would also highly recommend her Animals In Translation book.
A carefully written and documented treatise on practical methods to nurture, acquire and maintain employment of individuals with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) and especial reference to those having Asperger's Syndrome, i.e., a high or higher-functioning level of autism either with or without specific talents. The authors have particular first-hand knowledge of ASD by either being affected or children with autistic traits.
So, yes, this is a "how to" book that should prove to be an important informational guide on structuring realistic avenues that can lead to eventual employment in the workforce, clearly pointing out the need for early intervention (parents), focusing on development of talents into marketable skills and managing the environmental and social factors that may be devastating to those potentially employable ASDs using mentors whenever possible.
The writers have skillfully outlined the many basic problems encountered in ASD together with mitigating means to overcome such difficulties. In ASD there is a neurological disability which often is manifest via magnitude, separation, and response of the various sense modalities (touch, taste, sound, visual). This imbalance and admixture or crossing-over of sensory modalities is associated with frustrations, anger, withdrawal, and distraction from mild stimuli such as fluorescent light flickering, roughness of clothing, strong scents and includes avoidance of eye contact, crowds, and careless grooming, etc. Using "white noise", gum chewing, exercise, soft clothing, incandescent bulbs, tinted glasses, "counting to 10" and counseling can do wonders. Using networking, hobbies, portfolio creation, and focusing on improving enjoyed skills can lead to successful employment.
The appendix briefly covers the ADA of 1990 and many available resources. Authors point out many of the computer nerds or geeks are believed to have Asperger, that many have exceptional skills to contribute to society as a whole, the caveat being that their societal integration faces many pitfalls which can be avoided or cushioned, and these are succinctly spelled out in this manual. With statistics revealing that upwards of 1 in 166 children are currently diagnosed with ASD, it is a certainty you will undoubtedly encounter many of them in the schools, workplace, gatherings, and etc., ergo this guide is helpful for all.