- Paperback: 270 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (January 10, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307275655
- ISBN-13: 978-0307275653
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 327 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism Paperback – January 10, 2006
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Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's first book--and the first picture of autism from the inside--"quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable." Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and in Thinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Grandin, who feels she can "see through a cow's eyes," is an influential designer of slaughterhouses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight into human-animal relations. It would be mere justice if Thinking in Pictures transforms the study of religious feeling, too. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In her second autobiographical volume (after Emergence: Labelled Autistic), Grandin, a high-functioning autistic profiled by Oliver Sacks in his recent book, An Anthropologist on Mars, offers a series of original, linked essays on her life and work. An assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, her heightened ability to visualize allows her to make sense of the world by constructing concrete visual metaphors; for her, every concept must be tied into her nonverbal "video library" of particular people, places and associations. By thus enabling Grandin to put herself in the place of cows and other animals, her visual imagination has helped her to design humane livestock-processing equipment (these designs have been so effective that they now handle one-third of the nation's cattle and hogs). Throughout these essays, Grandin blends personal anecdotes with plainspoken accounts of scientific approaches to autism and methods of treatment, like drug therapy and a "squeeze machine" she invented to modify sensory stimulation. Although her prose is uneven, her insights and achievements are astonishing. Ultimately, Grandin finds within science and autism the basis for belief in God, given that her designs, which spring from her powers of visualization, reduce suffering and promote calm in both the animals and herself. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
For the second half I had to continually keep reminding myself that she is talking about her life and her own interests. She devotes two entire chapters to animals, their thoughts and emotions and connecting with them, and while it was very interesting, I obviously do not have the passion for that particular topic that she does. Some of those chapters I felt like I had to plod through a bit.
Overall I got out of this book what I thought I would—a better understanding of differences in thought pattern. I’m glad I read it.
On a test in high school that measured ability to visualize for spacial relations, I scored 99.99% for all women and above 98% of all men. Verbal processing was always a chore, however, and social cues were and continue to be learned by hard experience and in some cases remain a mystery in many cases. A class that teaches social norms would be good for kids now since they are not obvious to us picture thinkers. Thank goodness Temple's mother and my own mother found ways to help us flourish. We all have special gifts and weaknesses. The key is to realize your strengths and find work in that direction, plus find ways to help your weaknesses. I would also recommend another of her books, "The Austistic Brain". At the end, it discussed strengths and what types of jobs might be good for each. This is similar to my high school career test.
I would definitely recommend this book. Temple's observations helped cattle be processed more humanely. I admit I was a bit squeamish about that part but hearing that she cared about them and found ways to make their time in processing better softened this topic.
I "get" animals and frankly relate to many of them faster and more easily than to other humans. That my dog was my best friend was more of an understatement than I'd even conceived until she died, such had been our bond and ability to communicate. Meanwhile, I still struggle to interact with other people, to understand boundaries and the elaborate customs and assumptions taken for granted by neurotypical individuals.
I'd been waffling over whether I should pursue therapy and an Asperger diagnosis, whether it was accurate or I was being a hypochondriac, until I read THIS book. I have no doubt anymore. I know now that I am not a failed intellectual, merely an obstinate genius unwilling to conform. That's what people told me all my life and although it didn't feel accurate, I internalized the derision. I know, now, that I'm not as screwed up as I thought. And with the research I have continued, I can now see how various traits considered components on the autism scale run in my family, sometimes residing only a couple or few in an individual, sometimes so many of these traits that the person is socially incapacitated. I feel I'm on the road to liberation. Would that I were not in my forties, already, when discovering these things. I highly recommend this book to anybody that knows someone that appears to be socially inept or seems to fail to live up to their intellectual potential, and especially to anybody that feels they are that person.