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Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report fr Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.


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Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report fr Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.

30 review for Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Oh, I love Temple Grandin. I didn't expect that I was going to. See, there's this boy - I'll call him Blake - who comes into the library with his mom every Wednesday. He gets some movies, and his mom gets the baby sign language DVDs, and he always gets a couple of science books. He waits patiently at the desk, and he's this picture of quivery anticipation when I walk up to help him, because he knows what he has to do. And he grins and he waves, awkwardly, a sort of half-wave, practiced over and Oh, I love Temple Grandin. I didn't expect that I was going to. See, there's this boy - I'll call him Blake - who comes into the library with his mom every Wednesday. He gets some movies, and his mom gets the baby sign language DVDs, and he always gets a couple of science books. He waits patiently at the desk, and he's this picture of quivery anticipation when I walk up to help him, because he knows what he has to do. And he grins and he waves, awkwardly, a sort of half-wave, practiced over and over, and he says "Hi!" and I say "Hi!" and he says "Hi!" and I say "Hi!" and his mom says, with an identical grin, "One time, Blake." After I hand him his library card back, he turns to his mom, tells her that he said hi, and gives her a giant hug, and doesn't let go until it's time to leave. I love Blake. I look forward to helping him and his mom check out their books. And I really appreciate what Temple Grandin has written. It's not like other books about autism, written from an outsider's perspective - a doctor or a parent or a teacher. Temple writes herself. She's successful, intelligent, communicative. She is very methodical in her writing, explaining everything absolutely perfectly, ensuring you get an accurate mental picture of the way she thinks. I can empathize with her in a lot of respects. She explains how individuals who are autistic can be sensitive to sounds. I'm not autistic, but the way my hearing aids process sounds makes me equally sensitive. The expressive way she details the sounds made me realize it's exactly the same way I feel, and I don't blame an autistic kid one bit for reacting with tantrums. It hurts when sounds physically assault you, and it's annoying when you have no way of tuning out a particular sound to focus on another. There are other bits I sympathize with in Temple's narrative: her adherence to a (relatively) strict schedule and her inability to make small talk (oh lord, give me something to talk about besides the weather and clothes, please, or let me go back to my book). What's really nice about it, though, is I think everybody is able to sympathize with Temple at some point. If you think visually, if you make metaphors out of your life, if you empathize with animals, if you were ever a woman in a man's career field, if you feel awkward at parties, if you can't handle algebra, you'll sympathize with Temple. Even if you have experience with none of those things, Temple's writing is vivid in its descriptions. You'll feel like you know her. The book I read contained updates at the end of each chapter. At times the updated sections weren't clearly separated from the body of the "old" text and I wasn't sure if I was reading a current narrative or a slightly outdated one. That combined with the sometimes-repetitiveness of Temple's narrative led to a few moments when I wasn't sure where I was at in the book. I did appreciate the updates, though. They made the text more modern and touched upon some new topics in autism research. I will definitely be looking for more of Temple's books. And continue saying "Hi!" to Blake.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    An interesting autobiography of an autistic women who has achieved much in her career as a brilliant scientist in animal husbandry, who has designed machinery to make the slaughter of cattle, less terrifying and painful to the animals. She provides insights into autism, but tends to generalize, describing some of her own experiences and conditions, as being general to all autistic, where they are not always so-not all of her generalizations are correct , and the limitation in relationships she as An interesting autobiography of an autistic women who has achieved much in her career as a brilliant scientist in animal husbandry, who has designed machinery to make the slaughter of cattle, less terrifying and painful to the animals. She provides insights into autism, but tends to generalize, describing some of her own experiences and conditions, as being general to all autistic, where they are not always so-not all of her generalizations are correct , and the limitation in relationships she ascribes are not true for all who have these disorders. Nonetheless there is valuable information here about autism, as well as milder related disorders such as Aspergers syndrome, and the difficulties these lead to in social lives and careers. She also highlights those who have suffered from such abilities or parts thereof, but have still achieved much, including Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Vincent Van Gogh.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    "I will never forget that when the going got really tough [career-wise], Norb [Goscowitz, an industry administrator] told me 'No matter what, you must always persevere.'" -- Grandin, page 109 Temple Grandin's book works best when adhering to either the memoir format or just providing some general but occasionally detailed information on all sorts of aspects on autism. Her life is certainly an inspirational story, especially for those who are high-functioning or savants -- it is still only within "I will never forget that when the going got really tough [career-wise], Norb [Goscowitz, an industry administrator] told me 'No matter what, you must always persevere.'" -- Grandin, page 109 Temple Grandin's book works best when adhering to either the memoir format or just providing some general but occasionally detailed information on all sorts of aspects on autism. Her life is certainly an inspirational story, especially for those who are high-functioning or savants -- it is still only within recent memory that those 'on the spectrum' were wrongly diagnosed with brain damage or other such issues and regularly institutionalized in sanitariums / asylums / state hospitals, sadly thought to be lacking in necessary internal components or beyond the capacity to lead independent lives. She was able to breach the preconceived boundaries at the time and earn a PhD, becoming a scientist, a livestock expert-consultant and a published author. The sections of the book recounting her work with animals were not quite as compelling (and sometimes felt a bit repetitive), but the biographical aspect and the plain-spoken background information on autism were first-rate.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marcy prager

    Temple Grandin made it very clear how autism affected her as a child and as an adult. She was lucky to have her mom's, her aunt's, and teachers' help to help Temple through the hard times. Being a visual learner, Temple has a memory which retains visual pictures in her head like a CD. She has a video library in her head with all of her memories. She uses these videos to create livestock design projects and humane facilities for cattle. Temple has always identified with animals, in their thinking Temple Grandin made it very clear how autism affected her as a child and as an adult. She was lucky to have her mom's, her aunt's, and teachers' help to help Temple through the hard times. Being a visual learner, Temple has a memory which retains visual pictures in her head like a CD. She has a video library in her head with all of her memories. She uses these videos to create livestock design projects and humane facilities for cattle. Temple has always identified with animals, in their thinking and their behavior. As a child, she was like an animal that had no instincts to guide her; She learned by trial and error. All her life, she has been an observer, always on the outside. Temple did not know how to calm herself when she was young. She hated being hugged; It was too overwhelming. Temple, craving pressure to calm her down, designed a device, much like a cattle squeeze chute that she saw at her aunt's ranch in Arizona. She would lie in the squeeze chute and start to play with the pressure that would give her the most comfort. For the first time, Temple became relaxed, calm, and serene. This was Temple's first connection between cows and herself. (Cows relax in these squeeze chutes before they receive vaccinations). Temple described fully how the fear impulses that autistic people feel are much like the same fear impulses that cattle and animals feels. Animals flee when they see predators. Cattle and sheep have supersensitive hearing. High-pitched sounds are disturbing to them. The same kinds of sounds that upset cattle are the same kinds of sounds that are unbearable to many autistic children with overly sensitive hearing. With a cow's view and her connection to animals, Temple has helped improve the treatment of animals before slaughter. But even more than this being her legacy of which she is most proud, Temple helps teachers understand the importance of understanding autistic children: "Teachers need to help autistic children develop their talents. I think there is too much emphasis on deficits and not enough emphasis on developing abilities. For example, ability in art often shows up at an early age." Autistic people's fixations can be their way to achieve some social life and friends. A fascination with computers and programming can provide social contacts with other computer people. Problems that autistic people have with eye contact and awkward gestures are not visible on the Internet. The computer world is a way for autistic people to not have to spend so much time concentrating on trying to talk normally. I had no idea that Einstein had, and Bill Gates has, a form of autism. There are so many variations of autism. Temple was helped by people, and later on with medication. She lectures and writes books. I was very moved by Temple's life, her perspectives, her unique brilliance, and her willingness to share her life with others.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Madelyn Clare

    Saw her on C-Span in an hour and a half long sit down w/Steve. It's still up. Moved me to tears, am dyslexic, and loved her characterization of our difficulties. She's a treasure. Too many of my friends have born children who are somewhere on the spectrum. I've been promoting her, and gifting her books to them, in hopes that they'll hear her central message, which is: people on the spectrum only ever get better. Saw her on C-Span in an hour and a half long sit down w/Steve. It's still up. Moved me to tears, am dyslexic, and loved her characterization of our difficulties. She's a treasure. Too many of my friends have born children who are somewhere on the spectrum. I've been promoting her, and gifting her books to them, in hopes that they'll hear her central message, which is: people on the spectrum only ever get better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Homeschoolmama

    I give this book one star. I know most people will probably disagree strongly with me, but I found this to be a difficult and tedious read. While I admire Temple for her talent, ingenuity, courage and determination in pursuing her education and career goals, I find her writing to be all over the place, rambling, difficult to follow and limited- in that she makes sweeping generalizations about autistic people, based on her own personal experience of course. What she fails to realize is that not a I give this book one star. I know most people will probably disagree strongly with me, but I found this to be a difficult and tedious read. While I admire Temple for her talent, ingenuity, courage and determination in pursuing her education and career goals, I find her writing to be all over the place, rambling, difficult to follow and limited- in that she makes sweeping generalizations about autistic people, based on her own personal experience of course. What she fails to realize is that not all autistic people are like her! Not all autistic people are visual learners, they all *don't* 'think in pictures'...This is of course, one of the ironies with autistics: their own theory of mind issues come in to play in their writing about autism. If you want to read a good book written by someone with autism/aspergers, read Born on A Blue Day, by Daniel Tammet, or Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything, by a delightful boy named Kenneth Hall. There are many others too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The tragedy of this book is that even as Temple Grandin's crusade to help slaughter farm animals humanely led to many changes, I tend to doubt these changes are still in effect. Particularly management imparting a sense of care and concern for the animals. I live near a plant she designed. This plant, until a year ago, was staffed by many illegal immigrants. Many of the current staff are Monolinguals (non-English). And some from cultures that do not revere (and in fact mutilate)female human bein The tragedy of this book is that even as Temple Grandin's crusade to help slaughter farm animals humanely led to many changes, I tend to doubt these changes are still in effect. Particularly management imparting a sense of care and concern for the animals. I live near a plant she designed. This plant, until a year ago, was staffed by many illegal immigrants. Many of the current staff are Monolinguals (non-English). And some from cultures that do not revere (and in fact mutilate)female human beings, let alone respect animals. Feel-good people reading this may be offended, but it is the truth and these are people I deal with every day. I could, because I do business with this plant, probably take a tour if I wanted to. But I'm too gutless (no pun intended). Temple Grandin's description of kosher slaughter is extremely disturbing, and I'm giving four stars for the last two chapters alone. The rest of the book was, sadly, in need of guidance or editing. There was, as mentioned in other reviews, endless repetition. She did good work. I wonder if anyone ever bothers to check that it's being continued.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I have to admit, I didn't read this book because I particularly wanted to. As a parent of an autistic child, many well-meaning people will ask, "Do you know about Temple Grandin?" I initially picked up the book just so I could say that I was familiar with her, and had read some of her work. I didn't expect to actually enjoy the book as much as I did. Dr. Grandin writes in a very straight forward, no nonsense fashion that I really found easy to follow. She does a fantastic job of explaining how h I have to admit, I didn't read this book because I particularly wanted to. As a parent of an autistic child, many well-meaning people will ask, "Do you know about Temple Grandin?" I initially picked up the book just so I could say that I was familiar with her, and had read some of her work. I didn't expect to actually enjoy the book as much as I did. Dr. Grandin writes in a very straight forward, no nonsense fashion that I really found easy to follow. She does a fantastic job of explaining how her thought processes work, and how it may be similar to other people on the autistic spectrum. Since autism is such a wide spectrum disorder, much of what she writes about simply doesn't match my daughter at all, however some of the behaviors and idiosyncrasies that Dr. Grandin describes match pretty closely, and gave me a little insight as to how my daughter may be feeling during times of stress. I think this is a very good source for someone seeking insight and understanding of those on the autistic spectrum.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5* Review to come

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    Temple Grandin's book "Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism" is certainly a unique book. Grandin writes in simple, understandable prose about how she and others with autism cope with life. She describes the difficulties she has had with social encounters, and how she has learned how to relate to others on an intellectual, rather emotional level. Grandin has a Ph.D. in animal science. She has made a career of designing equipment for handling livestock. Grandin describes Temple Grandin's book "Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism" is certainly a unique book. Grandin writes in simple, understandable prose about how she and others with autism cope with life. She describes the difficulties she has had with social encounters, and how she has learned how to relate to others on an intellectual, rather emotional level. Grandin has a Ph.D. in animal science. She has made a career of designing equipment for handling livestock. Grandin describes how she thinks "in pictures" rather than "in words", and how that casts a strong influence on how she deals with life. She thinks that this type of thinking is probably analogous to how animals think. She describes how she gets into the minds of cattle, and finds ways to help them humanely and with respect. Grandin also has a strong philosophical bent; she describes how she thinks about the killing of animals for the meat industry. The book is a bit repetitive and not well organized; that is the only reason why I have not given it 5 stars. The only part of the book that was a bit boring to me was a chapter in the middle, about various medications used for autism. Toward the end of the book, she discussing a wide range of interesting scientific topics--like Maxwell's demon, and the relation between quantum mechanics and neurons--and various famous individuals who may have had some mild autistic traits (Einstein, Sagan, Feynman to name a few).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This is a good, not great, book. So why 4-stars and not 3? The subject matter. I have never seen someone better walk through Autism and the way autistic people think and relate it so clearly to the way "normal" folks think. If you're interested in how people think (which I am) or you simply know someone with Autism, then this book is a must-read. Temple Grandin lays out her book in a series of essays that hit topics like: the different kinds of ways people think, and in-depth look at Visual Thou This is a good, not great, book. So why 4-stars and not 3? The subject matter. I have never seen someone better walk through Autism and the way autistic people think and relate it so clearly to the way "normal" folks think. If you're interested in how people think (which I am) or you simply know someone with Autism, then this book is a must-read. Temple Grandin lays out her book in a series of essays that hit topics like: the different kinds of ways people think, and in-depth look at Visual Thought, sensory issues that people with autism go through, how autistic people perceive emotions, the kind of jobs an autistic person is good at, the kind of relationships they can have, and so much more. Peppered throughout is Temple Grandin's love of cows and other animals (but mostly cows). She's made her career helping ranchers, butchers, and milkers keep their animals calm and cooperative. It's interesting stuff, for sure. So what drops this book down to "good" and not "great"? The writing style is somewhat awkward. Grandin does a good job explaining things, but she does it by taking this story and that story and this other story and just kind of telling them one after another. This, in all honesty, is a fantastic picture of what she's trying to explain to the non-autistic reader: people with autism think and process differently. This is how she processes this kind of information. But because of it, the book can feel disconnected at times and even within a single paragraph she jumps around in a way that left me wanting more from an earlier thread. There is also no specific end to the book. It's just kind of over after the last essay which was somewhat awkward. Still, the information here is invaluable. While I didn't take too many notes, I'm also not a father of an autistic child and am not very close with anyone who has autism. Were those things to change, I would pick this book back up and scour it inch-by-inch. But until that day, I'll simply think on the many insights Grandin has offered here in this book and hope it helps me become more gracious to those who think and perceive the world differently than me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I was expecting more of a memoir, but this really ended up being Ms. Grandin's opinion on different aspects of autism with her own experiences only sprinkled in. It was difficult to get through the more technical aspects of the book and it was frustrating how often information was repeated. There were points that were interesting and I do feel like I have a better handle on autism in general, but that just wasn't what I was expecting when I decided to read this book. If you are curious about aut I was expecting more of a memoir, but this really ended up being Ms. Grandin's opinion on different aspects of autism with her own experiences only sprinkled in. It was difficult to get through the more technical aspects of the book and it was frustrating how often information was repeated. There were points that were interesting and I do feel like I have a better handle on autism in general, but that just wasn't what I was expecting when I decided to read this book. If you are curious about autism and want to know Ms. Grandin's specific stance on issues related to autism then you should read this book. If you are looking for more of a memoir, this isn't what you want.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    5 STARS for Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism (audiobook)by Temple Grandin read by Deborah Marlowe. Temple Grandin is really an amazing person. It’s fascinating to hear how her mind works. It’s inspiring to hear how she has influenced an industry. It’s fascinating to understand how she visualizes everything. I have a bit of that but she is really on another level. I was fortunate enough to get to see her presentation at a local bookstore many years ago. I’m fascinated by how different pe 5 STARS for Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism (audiobook)by Temple Grandin read by Deborah Marlowe. Temple Grandin is really an amazing person. It’s fascinating to hear how her mind works. It’s inspiring to hear how she has influenced an industry. It’s fascinating to understand how she visualizes everything. I have a bit of that but she is really on another level. I was fortunate enough to get to see her presentation at a local bookstore many years ago. I’m fascinated by how different people think. There is much more diversity of thought than we realize.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is a fascinating book written by a woman with high-functioning autism. Temple Grandin describes her life struggles and triumphs. Her unique way of thinking allows her to really identify with animals and to be able to look at situations from their point of view. This talent has allowed her to design very humane slaughterhouses for cattle. She has revolutionized the cattle industry in the US with her designs, which are also being widely copied. Grandin has an analytical mind and earnest feeli This is a fascinating book written by a woman with high-functioning autism. Temple Grandin describes her life struggles and triumphs. Her unique way of thinking allows her to really identify with animals and to be able to look at situations from their point of view. This talent has allowed her to design very humane slaughterhouses for cattle. She has revolutionized the cattle industry in the US with her designs, which are also being widely copied. Grandin has an analytical mind and earnest feelings. She examines herself, autism, and her world. I learned a lot from this book. I kept thinking about my friends who have children with autism, Asbergers, and other such conditions. I really liked the way this book unlocked some of their world. Grandin's example encourages us to value people in all their complexity and variety and to seek to understand them better. She said: "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." What an amazing woman!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    I hope you all aren't disappointed but I am so in awe of Temple Grandin after reading this book that I can't find the words to express it. What an awesome woman she is, we can all learn a great deal from her. On to the next book! I hope you all aren't disappointed but I am so in awe of Temple Grandin after reading this book that I can't find the words to express it. What an awesome woman she is, we can all learn a great deal from her. On to the next book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    This is clearly the best in the catalog of Temple Grandin who is a star performer on the circuit of parent conferences on Autism. It provides an inspirational tale of the struggles of an intelligent woman and a very courageous mother. Only buy this book if you attend a conference and can get it autographed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark miller

    The book is about Temple Grandin and living with autism. She is really a remarkable and amazing person. She was able to receive a Ph.D in Animal Science and currently an associate professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. She frequently lectures about autism. Many people don't understand autism, so in effect they are afraid of it. People and scientists work on finding a cure for the "disease", which in my opinion it is not a disease but a natural progression of evolution.Many in The book is about Temple Grandin and living with autism. She is really a remarkable and amazing person. She was able to receive a Ph.D in Animal Science and currently an associate professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. She frequently lectures about autism. Many people don't understand autism, so in effect they are afraid of it. People and scientists work on finding a cure for the "disease", which in my opinion it is not a disease but a natural progression of evolution.Many individuals with high-functioning autism or Asperger's feel that autism is a normal part of human diversity. There is study of genetics that most people are unfamiliar with; epigenetics. Thus epigenetic can be used to describe anything other than DNA sequence that influences the development of an organism. It occurs much faster than the usual DNA sequence changes which evolve over long periods of time. Most epigenetic changes only occur within the course of one individual organism's lifetime and does not necessarily pass on to the next generation, like jumping genes. I believe autism is a result of Darwinian evolution. Humans have the highest variability in genes to adapt to so many different and changing contexts of environment. Out of all the animals in the world humans have the greatest number of instincts, yes instincts. One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing poorly at verbal and social skills. She thinks in pictures! Francis Galton, in Inquiries into Human Faculty and Development, wrote that while some see vivid mental pictures, for others" the idea is not felt to be mental pictures, but rather symbols of facts. In people with low pictorial imagery, they would remember their breakfast table but they could not see it. The autistic mind is really more like a computer than anything else. An autistic child will often use a word in an inappropriate manner. For example, an autistic child might use the word "dog" when wanting to go outside. The word "dog" is associated with going outside. There are so many unique and interesting personal stories in this book it is difficult to describe. If you are interested in human development and yourself I highly recommend this book for you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Highly recommend! One of the top reads of 2010. My son was diagnosed with autism earlier this year and I felt like this was a great way to get some insight to the way that he thinks. In a world where it seems that everyone is looking for the magic "cure" for autism, I was glad to read that Temple wouldn't change a thing. Autism is a part of my son's entire being and personality. Gave me a lot of hope that he will lead a successful and happy life as an adult doing something that he loves. "Differ Highly recommend! One of the top reads of 2010. My son was diagnosed with autism earlier this year and I felt like this was a great way to get some insight to the way that he thinks. In a world where it seems that everyone is looking for the magic "cure" for autism, I was glad to read that Temple wouldn't change a thing. Autism is a part of my son's entire being and personality. Gave me a lot of hope that he will lead a successful and happy life as an adult doing something that he loves. "Different, not less"

  19. 4 out of 5

    Etta Mcquade

    Since I have two grandsons who are autistic, I was interested in learning more. Temple Grandin seemed very honest, educated and sincere in her appraisal of autisim. Because I basically "think in only words," I had difficulty seeing how Temple and other autistics think. However, the book was extremely enligthening. I hope to be able to use some of things I learned in working with and understanding my grandsons. Since I have two grandsons who are autistic, I was interested in learning more. Temple Grandin seemed very honest, educated and sincere in her appraisal of autisim. Because I basically "think in only words," I had difficulty seeing how Temple and other autistics think. However, the book was extremely enligthening. I hope to be able to use some of things I learned in working with and understanding my grandsons.

  20. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    It's not poetry but very readable, a simple yet thorough description of autism, life experiences and educated guesses about how the wiring of the brain has a cause and effect on its operations which can be reasonably catalogued and documented. The suggestions to reach the brain despite the wiring distortions for sensory perceptions were eye opening and educating. Very interesting. It's not poetry but very readable, a simple yet thorough description of autism, life experiences and educated guesses about how the wiring of the brain has a cause and effect on its operations which can be reasonably catalogued and documented. The suggestions to reach the brain despite the wiring distortions for sensory perceptions were eye opening and educating. Very interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Greta Cribbs

    Where to start with this book? First of all, I read this just after having finished Ms. Grandin's first book, Emergence. I loved that book for its unique insight into the world of autism, a world that, despite all the research and the push for awareness that has happened in the years since the book was written, is still highly misunderstood. I suppose the only people who are interested in knowing about it are the people who are personally affected by it, so the rest of the world carries on in bli Where to start with this book? First of all, I read this just after having finished Ms. Grandin's first book, Emergence. I loved that book for its unique insight into the world of autism, a world that, despite all the research and the push for awareness that has happened in the years since the book was written, is still highly misunderstood. I suppose the only people who are interested in knowing about it are the people who are personally affected by it, so the rest of the world carries on in blissful ignorance. If you read Emergence, and then move on the Thinking in Pictures, the first thing you will notice is a level of detail that was not present in that first book. Emergence was simply a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a woman with autism. There's some science, yes, but for all intents and purposes, the book is basically a memoir. Thinking in pictures is partially a memoir, but it's also a whole lot more. There is a level of detail that shows just how much research the author did before sitting down to write it. Rather than simply an account of her own experience with autism, the book is a fountain of information for anyone, whether they be on the spectrum, raising children on the spectrum, or teaching children on the spectrum, to use and gain insight into what works and what does not work when it comes to helping people with autism achieve their full potential. Temple Grandin recognizes the limitations of autism, and is well aware that those on the lower functioning end of the spectrum may never even become fully verbal. However, she has made it her life's work (or part of her life's work) to show the world that individuals with high-functioning autism are capable of much more than people think, and she has made great effort to inform people of the importance of good educational programs and the need to push these young people to do their best so that they, like Ms. Grandin herself, can grow up and make their mark in the world. I share her dream and hope that by reviewing this book I have contributed in some small way to her mission. On a personal level, this book was simply a delight to read. Reading the final chapter, in which she waxes philosophical and discusses her beliefs about God and where we go when we die, felt like reading the ramblings of my own mind. She and I share a belief that science and faith do not have to conflict. We even share the experience of finding evidence for the existence of a creator in the second rule of thermodynamics. I had that particular epiphany back in college, and experienced the pleasure of having loads of people look at me like I was nuts every time I talked about it, so imagine my happy shock when I read this book and discovered that someone else thinks about God in much the same way I do. I am very much looking forward to reading more of Temple Grandin's books and seeing what other insights she has into not just autism but the world in general.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzy

    One of the theories about people on the autism spectrum is that they lack "theory of mind." Wikipedia defines that as: "the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own." But the more I read about autism and spend time with children on the spectrum, the more I become convinced that we could as easily say that the world lacks the a One of the theories about people on the autism spectrum is that they lack "theory of mind." Wikipedia defines that as: "the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own." But the more I read about autism and spend time with children on the spectrum, the more I become convinced that we could as easily say that the world lacks the ability to understand THEIR minds (and the minds of animals, which Grandin has an uncanny ability to understand). This book is the work of an extraordinary mind and heart and soul. Grandin, a renowned animal scientist who has autism, is gifted at describing the workings of her own mind and clearly understands how her thinking differs from (and sometimes is superior to) a "typical" mind. I have never read another book like this one; the point of view is truly new to me, and wonderful. She makes clear the difficulties of her life, while celebrating the joys of her visual mind. Reading lots of books on autism spectrum disorder, while at the same reading Buddhist teachings, I've often been struck by their parallels, particularly in living in the present and in a world without words. I've wondered as I've watched a child on the spectrum smile to him or herself if it was possible that s/he was in some way meditating. I was therefore delighted to read about Grandin experiencing what she refers to as a "Zen meditational state" and (in a mirror image of my wondering) speculating that "Maybe the monks who chant and meditate are kind of autistic." While other people have a hard time reconciling her understanding and love of animals with her work--she has designed one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States and focuses on humane slaughtering--she sees no such moral dichotomy. She has little fear of death and wants to prevent suffering, but it goes beyond that for her. She sees us as partners in the cycle of life--in return for a decent life safe from predators, with adequate food and shelter and the ability to breed, the animal is willing to be domesticated as a food source. She considers the death of an animal "sacred," and wants the slaughter ritual, common in many cultures, to be brought into our system to help prevent abuse and to restore the dignity of animals. "The ritual could be something very simple, such as a moment of silence. In addition to developing better designs and making equipment to insure the humane treatment of all animals, that would be my contribution. No words. Just one pure moment of silence. I can picture it perfectly." I know people with loved ones on the spectrum would devour this book, but I think really it is for anyone interested in a glimpse of another way of thinking and being--another beautiful way. Maybe we can all develop a theory of many minds.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    {Sept. 2016 book group selection} I was not familiar with Temple Grandin before reading this book, nor had I ever thought I’d read something explaining the process of designing livestock-handling facilities(!), but I found this book both fascinating and eye-opening. I already knew that people who are autistic think differently than those who aren’t, but it was really interesting to read about Temple’s thought processes and the way she is able to picture things in her head and combine parts and p {Sept. 2016 book group selection} I was not familiar with Temple Grandin before reading this book, nor had I ever thought I’d read something explaining the process of designing livestock-handling facilities(!), but I found this book both fascinating and eye-opening. I already knew that people who are autistic think differently than those who aren’t, but it was really interesting to read about Temple’s thought processes and the way she is able to picture things in her head and combine parts and pieces of other pictures to create something new, and even play the designs in her head like a video to catch potential flaws or problems. What a gift! I’m so impressed she was able to navigate her world well enough to finish school and find jobs that allowed her to utilize her unique talents and abilities, and I was touched by the people who helped and mentored her along the way during a time when autism was not nearly as well understood as it is now. I can’t imagine dealing with the sensory-overload issues that are part of many autistics’ lives and I will be more patient and understanding in the future with those on the spectrum that I teach or come in contact with in other ways. I also really enjoyed the section that talked about the link between genius and autism, and how if we eliminated all of the genes that make people autistic or manic-depressive or schizophrenic, our world would be full of a lot of boring people and the amount of creativity around us would drop dramatically. Everyone has talents…we need to come up with better ways of assisting children in recognizing their gifts and then helping them achieve their potential. I like this quote attributed (or misattributed) to Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (And just in case you ever want to use that quote for something but can only remember that it has something to do with a fish climbing a tree, you can find it by googling “fish tree Einstein”, which we did during our book group discussion. Haha)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is a hard book for me to rate. There were parts I really liked and some that I had to skim through. Overall, I am incredibly impressed by Temple Grandin and I enjoyed learning more about autism through the eyes of someone who lives with it. I enjoyed discussing it with my book group, though our discussions veered off to real life experiences quite often. I would have liked to have learned a bit more about her family, but I guess since personal relationships are often difficult for people wi This is a hard book for me to rate. There were parts I really liked and some that I had to skim through. Overall, I am incredibly impressed by Temple Grandin and I enjoyed learning more about autism through the eyes of someone who lives with it. I enjoyed discussing it with my book group, though our discussions veered off to real life experiences quite often. I would have liked to have learned a bit more about her family, but I guess since personal relationships are often difficult for people with autism, it should make sense that the book didn't focus on her family life. I was impressed by those who served as mentors to Temple and patiently helped her reach her potential. God bless them! We could use many more people in this world that take interest in helping others along the way. Especially those who think and act differently than we do. I am glad that Temple has said: “If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.” If the book is just too much... at least watch the movie Temple Grandin!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    A fascinating look at what its like to be autistic. Her mother was an amazing woman, no doubt, but she has a very valuable ability to interpret her inner life for the rest of us. I learned a great deal about the different ways of thinking that are not verbal--visual images, nonverbal sounds, patterns, match--and the problem of sensory overload that afflicts many autistic individuals. Her message of hope and her obvious passion for the lives of those who may be brilliant but need a great deal of A fascinating look at what its like to be autistic. Her mother was an amazing woman, no doubt, but she has a very valuable ability to interpret her inner life for the rest of us. I learned a great deal about the different ways of thinking that are not verbal--visual images, nonverbal sounds, patterns, match--and the problem of sensory overload that afflicts many autistic individuals. Her message of hope and her obvious passion for the lives of those who may be brilliant but need a great deal of help learning how to translate their experience to the rest of us was inspiring. I also learned a great deal about how animals think. She's an amazing author, and talks about every aspect of her life freely. I loved the frank and funny descriptions of the strange behavior of her fellow humans. She has also provided a list of drugs that help under different circumstances, and some of the expert help available, and how often doctors don't help at all.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    What an inspiring human being! I never had considered autism/Asperger's traits to be potentially a genetic BENEFIT before. This book taught me so much about what it means to live with a Dx on the spectrum as well as how not all human beings think the same. I guess I'd never really thought about it much before but had assumed that everyone thinks the same way I do. I chalked my talents up to giftedness and my deficits up to just not being too smart in those areas like other people are. The book h What an inspiring human being! I never had considered autism/Asperger's traits to be potentially a genetic BENEFIT before. This book taught me so much about what it means to live with a Dx on the spectrum as well as how not all human beings think the same. I guess I'd never really thought about it much before but had assumed that everyone thinks the same way I do. I chalked my talents up to giftedness and my deficits up to just not being too smart in those areas like other people are. The book helped me to understand literally how my brain works and that other people are gifted in other areas becasue their brains work differently. And that they can't do some of the things that come so naturally to me because they are literally wired differently. To be able to come back from pretty serious Autistic Sx and write books like this is an amazing gift! I'll never see my clients or other people in general in the same way again.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy King

    Was really excited to read this. Even though this took longer for me to get through, I enjoyed it and am glad I read it. Really gets you thinking about how different minds work (not just those on the spectrum, but my kids and anyone really) and how to try to meet them where they are to better communicate and understand them. Along the way you will learn more and broaden your way of seeing things and thinking. I did skip the some of the chapter about different meds, which is unlike me, but I coul Was really excited to read this. Even though this took longer for me to get through, I enjoyed it and am glad I read it. Really gets you thinking about how different minds work (not just those on the spectrum, but my kids and anyone really) and how to try to meet them where they are to better communicate and understand them. Along the way you will learn more and broaden your way of seeing things and thinking. I did skip the some of the chapter about different meds, which is unlike me, but I couldn't keep focus while reading that one. My favorite was the last chapter, especially where she writes: "Maybe immortality is the effect one's thoughts and actions have on other people". Would to hear her speak one day!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mie

    Just simply AMAZING. I did not read the book yet but I saw the movie and it was outstanding. Dr. Temple Grandin teach at Colorado State University. Never ever give up on any children they all have a fantastic mind of their own. Give them as many extra chances as they need until they open the door to another world. I read the book in one day...facinating, and very interesting. I keep my rating at 5 stars. A must read for all educators, therapists, parents and people who just want to learn more abo Just simply AMAZING. I did not read the book yet but I saw the movie and it was outstanding. Dr. Temple Grandin teach at Colorado State University. Never ever give up on any children they all have a fantastic mind of their own. Give them as many extra chances as they need until they open the door to another world. I read the book in one day...facinating, and very interesting. I keep my rating at 5 stars. A must read for all educators, therapists, parents and people who just want to learn more about autism!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I have a child with autism and first read this book when my child was diagnosed ten years ago. I was fascinated with the look inside the head of someone living with the ailment. Temple Grandin's insights were useful, helpful and uplifting, allowing me hope at a time I was searching for it -- when everything else was too overwhelming. Even if you do not know someone with autism, this book is a gripping read. I have a child with autism and first read this book when my child was diagnosed ten years ago. I was fascinated with the look inside the head of someone living with the ailment. Temple Grandin's insights were useful, helpful and uplifting, allowing me hope at a time I was searching for it -- when everything else was too overwhelming. Even if you do not know someone with autism, this book is a gripping read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Dumay

    Visualizing every word This has been a quite touching read. I have had a growing interest in here and autism as a whole.

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