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Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD Paperback – April 16, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an inspiring book. The stories of achievement will be encouraging for parents of a young child with an autism spectrum disorder and will be especially inspirational for adolescents and young adults who are feeling despondent that autism could deprive them of a successful career or relationship. This book has antidepressant qualities to rival those of medication.

Dr. Tony Attwood

From the Author

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

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Future Horizons (April 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935274600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935274605
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barbara Smith on April 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
In her new book -Different....Not Less, Temple Grandin reinforces the popular notion -that if you meet a person with autism....you have met ONE person with autism. Indeed, each of the 14 contributors in this collection creates a collage of the childhood and adult experiences that have made them the individuals they are today.

Grandin carefully chose a cross section of men and women with Aspergers syndrome from different fields (i.e. medical, art, technology and sales), various western cultures (i.e Australia and Scotland) and life situations (i.e. rural/urban, religious/non-religious upbringings) that show the similar social, communication and sensory challenges that people with Aspergers face despite varied backgrounds. These stories also demonstrate the unique talents and coping strategies that have enabled these individuals to achieve varying levels of life satisfaction and success.

I believe that within the context of these stories- "life satisfaction" and "success" may be considered almost synonymous. A common thread is that after a lifetime of being "different" and with varying degrees of family support- finding acceptance and meaningful activities (whether vocational or recreational) is critical to happiness and indeed, success. Unlike mainstream western values-success need not be equated with wealth, owning things, fame or having lots of friends.

Most of the authors did not learn about their Aspergers diagnosis until later in life. For some it was a relief to find an explanation for why they felt different and for others it made them angry to receive a label. Most of them consider their lives a work in progress as they take the diagnosis and use it to forge societal and self-acceptance.
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By MK on August 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was skeptical about this but it turned out to be my favorite book among all those I ordered. I thought it will be boring. I was so tired of all the life guides giving advice and stuff. Now I see that all I needed was to read the stories and thoughts of other people like me. I found many things to relate to, I found hope, inspiration and motivation. The stories are engaging and easy to read. A really nice collection to inspire me to go on at those times when I feel broken and less than. I am an adult who never has worked before, I am 28 years and I am starting a university this year. I am starting a new life and I will need these stories to remind me that I am so much more than I could imagine. I can be one of those successful people in this book. Now I know I can.
This book is good for parents too. They can learn how to ensure their child's success. I can give a short formula: don't see them as broken but just like any other kid with their own specific issues, support their interests, treat them equally with everyone else. See their potential and encourage them to use their gifts. Fight off any injustice coming their way and teach them to advocate for themselves. They ARE equal with everyone else and no one has a right to say otherwise.
I am really tired of the "pathologizing" trend. Everyone has his/her own specific issues. Having difficulties doesn't mean we should stop living our lives. We should just learn to work with them. And being "in your own world" is an advantage here. It means you can't hear others say that you can't. It's what they always say, all those losers who are jealous that someone is actually doing something and couldn't be bothered to move themselves a bit.
Do what you love and make your living of it! I send everyone hugs and hope you are using your gifts and enjoy life as it's supposed to be. We are uniquely gifted. We can't throw that away.
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Format: Paperback
This book definitely provides an inspiring and uplifting guide to charting a successful life for people with Asperger's and autism. The real life stories provide meaningful examples, and the final section on finding employment is especially good. It's a bit lacking in providing support for people with ADHD. I wouldn't even bring this up at all, but ADHD is mentioned in the title! Otherwise, the real-life stories are incredibly touching. It's great that a variety of careers are discussed... artist, tour guide, "techie." There's a real variety so readers don't have to feel "pigeonholed" into a future.

Great for readers concerned with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But if you are looking for help with life issues centered around ADHD in particular, I recommend you look elsewhere. One book I recommend is The ADHD Marriage Workbook A User-Friendly Guide to Improving Your Relationship. It's focused on relationships, not career, but I still recommend it highly.
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Gives strength and hope and a definite realism to the families who have have people with autism. I could picture a future for my son, finally. And a realistic one. The advantages of certain jobs are explained well. These can be connected with the strenghts of our loved ones who have autism.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I need this book and the information it holds. It is VERY inspiring to see that kids with such deep problems grew up to be so successful. Quite a few of the cases included tell of people who didn't know what was wrong, but persevered in their quests anyway. It is good to have the actual people tell their stories, but they are not all great writers, so it takes some slogging. All in all, I HIGHLY recommend the book if one needs to know about how people cope with autism and its variations.
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