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Temple Grandin: Voice for the Voiceless

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Since Temple Grandin's life story was told in the 15 x Emmy-nominated film Temple Grandin, and since her heartwarming speech at the award ceremony, she has become one of the world's most well-known members of its community. In this fascinating biography, Annette Wood delves deep into Grandin's life from childhood to adulthood. Wood tells of the trials and tribulations of th Since Temple Grandin's life story was told in the 15 x Emmy-nominated film Temple Grandin, and since her heartwarming speech at the award ceremony, she has become one of the world's most well-known members of its community. In this fascinating biography, Annette Wood delves deep into Grandin's life from childhood to adulthood. Wood tells of the trials and tribulations of the icon: What difficulties Grandin struggled with and how she's become a hero for the autistic community. She also tells what Temple has done since the movie came out, where she is today, what kind of difference she's made, and what her future holds. For the 22 million people worldwide afflicted by autism and the countless friends and family members who support them, this brilliant portrait presents an up-close look at the disorder and renewed hope for what the future could bring for those on all levels of the spectrum.


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Since Temple Grandin's life story was told in the 15 x Emmy-nominated film Temple Grandin, and since her heartwarming speech at the award ceremony, she has become one of the world's most well-known members of its community. In this fascinating biography, Annette Wood delves deep into Grandin's life from childhood to adulthood. Wood tells of the trials and tribulations of th Since Temple Grandin's life story was told in the 15 x Emmy-nominated film Temple Grandin, and since her heartwarming speech at the award ceremony, she has become one of the world's most well-known members of its community. In this fascinating biography, Annette Wood delves deep into Grandin's life from childhood to adulthood. Wood tells of the trials and tribulations of the icon: What difficulties Grandin struggled with and how she's become a hero for the autistic community. She also tells what Temple has done since the movie came out, where she is today, what kind of difference she's made, and what her future holds. For the 22 million people worldwide afflicted by autism and the countless friends and family members who support them, this brilliant portrait presents an up-close look at the disorder and renewed hope for what the future could bring for those on all levels of the spectrum.

30 review for Temple Grandin: Voice for the Voiceless

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emesskay

    From the description of this book, one might think it was an autobiography of Temple Grandin. However only the first 7 chapters cover Temple Grandin's life. Seven chapters may seem like quite a lot, but they only amount to 59 pages of a book of 212 pages. The rest of the book covers topics related to autism, therapy animals, and animal welfare/slaughterhouses. While the other content is sort of interesting, it was not what I was expecting from this book. The discussion of Temple Grandin's life s From the description of this book, one might think it was an autobiography of Temple Grandin. However only the first 7 chapters cover Temple Grandin's life. Seven chapters may seem like quite a lot, but they only amount to 59 pages of a book of 212 pages. The rest of the book covers topics related to autism, therapy animals, and animal welfare/slaughterhouses. While the other content is sort of interesting, it was not what I was expecting from this book. The discussion of Temple Grandin's life seems abbreviated, and is interspersed with the author's own experience of having a sister with autism. The chapters about autism and various therapies did not provide any information that was new to me. Many of the practitioners mentioned are ones which are based in Kansas, there is little to no discussion of therapies which might be taking place outside of Kansas (such Michelle Garcia Winner's "Superflex" curriculum, Ellyn Arwood and Mabel Brown's "Pro-Social Language", or the "Unstuck & On Target" curriculum"). The chapters on animal welfare and design of slaughterhouses seem out of place in this book - I understand the connection the author is making - Temple Grandin has an amazing connection with animals, which allowed her to design slaughterhouses that kept the animals destined for dinner plates calm and content until their last moment. However it seems disingenuous to stick in three chapters based on that tenuous connection. The writing in this book is very choppy and feels disjointed. While I was reading the first chapter I was struck by the oddness of the writing but also the feeling that I had read works similar to this before. After some moments racking my memory, I realized that this style of writing was reminiscent of high school or college research papers. This book really could have used some major intervention from a good editor to help with the flow of writing and the transition from one topic to another. In some ways, the books reads like a collection of research papers, and it just seems like a big mish-mosh. It was painful for me to read, I had to force myself to finish the book. If you like in Kansas and know nothing about Temple Grandin or autism, and you want to learn some more about both, this might be a good book for you. I can see a book like this offering some hope to a family of a child newly-diagnosed with autism (if they live in Kansas) because it at least provides and idea of what services are available in Kansas, and the names of some providers. However, if you really wanted to learn about the life of Temple Grandin, I think you would be better off reading Temple Grandin's own books or that of Temple Grandin's mother (both heavily referenced in this text). With such rich primary sources, it is hard to see why one would want to read a secondary source such as this one. I believe the author had a noble intent: to educate and inform. However, for me it fell way short of the mark. Full disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I received this book as a free giveaway on Goodreads. Temple Grandin is an extremely interesting and accomplished individual that I intend to read more about. This book worked as a good brief biography. I suspect that I am not precisely the target audience as I was a little put off by writing that seemed somewhat repetitive and simplistic, but I would be very comfortable giving it to my children to read. There were two things that I thought were drawbacks to the book. First, a number of chapters a I received this book as a free giveaway on Goodreads. Temple Grandin is an extremely interesting and accomplished individual that I intend to read more about. This book worked as a good brief biography. I suspect that I am not precisely the target audience as I was a little put off by writing that seemed somewhat repetitive and simplistic, but I would be very comfortable giving it to my children to read. There were two things that I thought were drawbacks to the book. First, a number of chapters are about other people with autism or topics only peripherally related to Temple. The author seemed to want the book to be something of a general resource on autism as well as a biography of Grandin. Secondly, in what I consider to be a more serious drawback, she engages in historical speculation about people who exhibited "signs of Asperger's", including an entire chapter on Steve Jobs. Although it is not impossible that some significant historical figures might have been diagnosed as being on the spectrum if they had lived at another point in history, I have to regard this kind of retrospective diagnosis with a lot of skepticism. Individuals with autistic traits certainly have a lot of potential, sometimes because of those very traits, and Temple Grandin seems like a good example. But I don't think that a claim that Einstein was autistic is much more than wishful thinking. It seems to me that this way of thinking does little more than turn history into a Rorschach test for wishful thinking, and distract from the remarkable individuals alive today who are in fact identified as being on the autism spectrum. My favorite parts of the book, however, are its extended focus on the career and accomplishments of Temple Grandin, and an entire chapter on the making of the HBO movie about Grandin and her contributions to its production.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    When I received this book, I fully expected it to be a Temple Grandin biography. It is NOT. The book is divided into 5 sections. The first section was a brief biography of Temple, which is exactly what I was expecting, but then it segued into autism for the second part. Okay, that's fine, after all, Temple is autistic and it show how she has become an advocate, and how it can be a struggle for the whole family. But then it goes on to provide other examples of influential people who may have been When I received this book, I fully expected it to be a Temple Grandin biography. It is NOT. The book is divided into 5 sections. The first section was a brief biography of Temple, which is exactly what I was expecting, but then it segued into autism for the second part. Okay, that's fine, after all, Temple is autistic and it show how she has become an advocate, and how it can be a struggle for the whole family. But then it goes on to provide other examples of influential people who may have been autistic, as well as other people who are making strides to educate autistic children. At this point, I felt like the book lost its focus (assuming its focus was supposed to be Temple Grandin); however, it's still an interesting section if you want a brief explanation of autism. The next part was about animal slaughterhouses. What? I understand that Grandin designed the facility and that she is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals, but was a whole section on the use of drugs on chickens, animal breeding, and ways to persuade workers to treat animals better necessary for the book? I felt like I was reading a persuasive essay from a 5th grade reading class. Then the fourth section was a informative essay on the benefits and risks associated with therapy animals such as horses, bunnies, dogs, and cats. (I'm not quite sure how this relates to Temple Grandin, but I did get some good advice on how to entertain my rabbit.) The book concludes with Grandin's life today. At least that was the title. It was really a summary of the biography from the beginning of the book. Despite the confusing organization of the book, I didn't dislike it. It was an easy read, I learned about Temple Grandin (never heard of her before this), and I got some good how-to-care-for-your-pet-rabbit advice. I did receive this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I thought the first part of the book was interesting. It was more like a traditional biography. The writing was very simple and seemed like a child's book. However, the second part of the book was a more of autism its self, including a couple chapters on service animals and autism. In the end, I felt like the book was confused on what it was supposed to be. I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but the opinions are all my own. I thought the first part of the book was interesting. It was more like a traditional biography. The writing was very simple and seemed like a child's book. However, the second part of the book was a more of autism its self, including a couple chapters on service animals and autism. In the end, I felt like the book was confused on what it was supposed to be. I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but the opinions are all my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Toews

    Temple Grandin: Voice for the Voiceless was a great read. Informative, reads well and very personal. Lots of good information and interesting anecdotes about Temple and others. Leaves the reader with lots to think about and helpful sources to follow up, particularly for parents and families. Fascinating and well done. Thank you Annette Wood.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    If you know anyone with autism,then this book will help you understand a little about how their mind works. And the History and background of a true Austic person who did not let the disease define her.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liz Banks

    I really needed to read this book, just like people had been telling me. I learned about Temple Grandin and her life with autism. I also learned about animals, which has been her passion. I learned about autism and have been directed toward other books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Just an ok book - better books have been written about Dr. Grandin, including the ones she wrote herself!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mum

    The writing style was plain. It detracted from the remarkable life story of Temple Grandin and her incredible accomplishments. To me the part of the book about animals as an aide for people with autism did not belong in the book. The final recap was just that, a summary of her accomplishments. Sometimes the author got in the way of the story. If these errors were corrected , I would give the the book 4.5 Stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda Nehring

    Such an inspiration! I have an autistic nephew and so much of what Temple has to say resonates. Everyone should read this book whether you know of someone on the autism spectrum or not. The real message here is that everyone has worth and potential and with encouragement can realize their full potential.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Bateman

    Temple Grandin is a fascinating individual. I've read several biographies of her, and seen the HBO movie, so I was eager to embrace this book. In some ways it is very good. Part I - the first 62 pages - is exactly what the title implies--a biography of an amazing woman. the writing is crisp and informative, drawing the reader into Temple's life and teaching much about autism. The rest of the book, however, is a bit of a mish-mash. Section II deals with autism in general with some specific case s Temple Grandin is a fascinating individual. I've read several biographies of her, and seen the HBO movie, so I was eager to embrace this book. In some ways it is very good. Part I - the first 62 pages - is exactly what the title implies--a biography of an amazing woman. the writing is crisp and informative, drawing the reader into Temple's life and teaching much about autism. The rest of the book, however, is a bit of a mish-mash. Section II deals with autism in general with some specific case studies and some quotes from Temple. Section III is about animal welfare, with some quotes from Temple. Section IV is about animals and autism, with some quotes from Temple. The final section really focuses on the HBO movie. In other words, only the first section really focuses on the title. This book would be better titled: Temple Grandin and the Causes She Supports. Once the author strays from her focus this reader's attention also began to stray. Not that some of her information wasn't interesting, it just merited a book of its own. I also noted that the author has a tendency to repeat herself. A good editor should have caught this and tightened up this manuscript. I'm not saying the book isn't interesting or well-written. It just lacks the focus I was hoping for.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Les Gehman

    I was really looking forward to reading this biography of Temple Grandin since she is a local celebrity here in Fort Collins. It is really impressive how much work and money her mother devoted into making Temple the wonderful person she is today, and I really enjoyed reading about how Temple is able to connect with animals and her work to make the animal industry more humane. However, the book has a number of flaws. There is a large section devoted to autism itself that has little to do with Tem I was really looking forward to reading this biography of Temple Grandin since she is a local celebrity here in Fort Collins. It is really impressive how much work and money her mother devoted into making Temple the wonderful person she is today, and I really enjoyed reading about how Temple is able to connect with animals and her work to make the animal industry more humane. However, the book has a number of flaws. There is a large section devoted to autism itself that has little to do with Temple. It also could really benefit from drawings or photos illustrating the innovations that Temple has made to the animal industry. Also, the section on animals assisting those with autism included a chapter on the author's cats, and several pages of tips on keeping pet rabbits, and these seemed superfluous. I also felt like the simple writing style lent itself more to a Jr. High textbook than a biography. (Note: I received this book from the author via a Goodreads giveaway.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Temple Grandin is autistic, and yet she has overcome so many of her limitations, not just as a person with autism, but also as a woman in a male-dominated field, and a trailblazer in animal behavior. I really appreciated the research Annette Wood did to bring this book to completion. The book is broken into several sections. I thought it was going to be a biography of Temple Grandin, but that was only a small section of the book and my favorite chapters. There are also sections on autism; animal Temple Grandin is autistic, and yet she has overcome so many of her limitations, not just as a person with autism, but also as a woman in a male-dominated field, and a trailblazer in animal behavior. I really appreciated the research Annette Wood did to bring this book to completion. The book is broken into several sections. I thought it was going to be a biography of Temple Grandin, but that was only a small section of the book and my favorite chapters. There are also sections on autism; animals for food; animals and autism; and a final chapter on Temple Grandin's recent experiences. I was expecting a biography, and those chapters were my favorite. I lost interest in some of the other sections, but for people who want to learn more about autism and living with autism, this would be an awesome book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Judy A. Burkin

    A unique perspective This is a new book, written by Annette Wood that reviews, describes and analyzes the life of Temple Grandin. I have read all of Temple's books, they are written intelligently, with a rare insight into the world of autism. This book is a bit different, it still goes into details but explains things in a different way; important quotes of the people in Temple's professional life. There is respect and admiration which is a real delight. Temple will be remembered for her unique wa A unique perspective This is a new book, written by Annette Wood that reviews, describes and analyzes the life of Temple Grandin. I have read all of Temple's books, they are written intelligently, with a rare insight into the world of autism. This book is a bit different, it still goes into details but explains things in a different way; important quotes of the people in Temple's professional life. There is respect and admiration which is a real delight. Temple will be remembered for her unique way, her ability to be an advocate for autism, a professor, a pioneer for woman in animal husbandry, and a remarkable human being, that will be mentioned in the same sentence as other innovators and visionaries.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thelma

    While not exactly a biography of Temple Grandin, it does go over her life in great detail. It also puts out a lot of good information about autism in general and Asperger Syndrome, too. I found her insights on how animals perceive the world to be fascinating.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book is chock full of information, though it is not particularly well written. Sentence structure is often poor, and there are many repetitions of information. I have read a great deal about autism for two reasons: I had students with autism, and now I have a grandson on the spectrum. What I like about Wood's book is the current knowledge about the autism spectrum. One thing she didn't mention is that Asperger Syndrome is no longer listed as a diagnosis in the latest DSM. It is now incorpor This book is chock full of information, though it is not particularly well written. Sentence structure is often poor, and there are many repetitions of information. I have read a great deal about autism for two reasons: I had students with autism, and now I have a grandson on the spectrum. What I like about Wood's book is the current knowledge about the autism spectrum. One thing she didn't mention is that Asperger Syndrome is no longer listed as a diagnosis in the latest DSM. It is now incorporated into the Autism Spectrum. Many years ago I attended a conference where Grandin was the keynote speaker. Since then I have followed her career and writings. An amazing woman, for sure!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I enjoyed this book event though I have seen the movie. Fascinating. I would have enjoyed more detail on the speculative remarks about the famous people with autistic tendencies, but I guess that means I need to read a few of the books that were referenced. The organization was a bit confusing, but I think that we could all learn from the advice regarding working on deficiencies and searching to find out talents in ourselves as well as in others. I received this book as a free from Goodreads and I enjoyed this book event though I have seen the movie. Fascinating. I would have enjoyed more detail on the speculative remarks about the famous people with autistic tendencies, but I guess that means I need to read a few of the books that were referenced. The organization was a bit confusing, but I think that we could all learn from the advice regarding working on deficiencies and searching to find out talents in ourselves as well as in others. I received this book as a free from Goodreads and recommend it to all, as it was a quick read, opened my mind as to what Autism is like for the person as well as the family. Thank you Goodreads.

  18. 4 out of 5

    K

    I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway from the author. This was a very engaging read, and discussed the topic of Autism/Asperger's from an angle I hadn't read about before. While largely about the life of Temple Grandin, the author also included anecdotes from her personal experiences. These experiences were woven into the storyline of Temple's life and career in a way that made the story a more personal one. I learned a great deal about Temple Grandin herself, as well as the author, and I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway from the author. This was a very engaging read, and discussed the topic of Autism/Asperger's from an angle I hadn't read about before. While largely about the life of Temple Grandin, the author also included anecdotes from her personal experiences. These experiences were woven into the storyline of Temple's life and career in a way that made the story a more personal one. I learned a great deal about Temple Grandin herself, as well as the author, and enjoyed the read very much!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Dietr

    I really thought this was a book about Temple Grandin and while it was interesting I think I would rather have read her own words rather than the re-telling of them. A lot about autism is crammed into this book including some speculation. As a mother of two boys with autism I would have rather have read Grandin's amazing insights rather than the flushing out of material that was not what I was looking for. * I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Thanks Goodreads and Skyhors I really thought this was a book about Temple Grandin and while it was interesting I think I would rather have read her own words rather than the re-telling of them. A lot about autism is crammed into this book including some speculation. As a mother of two boys with autism I would have rather have read Grandin's amazing insights rather than the flushing out of material that was not what I was looking for. * I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Thanks Goodreads and Skyhorse Publishing to letting me ponder the material presented.*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Temple Grandin certainly is an amazing woman. It's nice to find a bio on her that also includes info on autism. I worked with autistic children and teens back in the 1990's and had a friend who's son was autistic. Grandin is the only autistic person I know of who has achieved so much success. Though I am certainly no expert, could she have Asperger's? At any rate, her story is worth reading about and if anyone is interested in learning a bit about her condition, this book is well worth a look. I Temple Grandin certainly is an amazing woman. It's nice to find a bio on her that also includes info on autism. I worked with autistic children and teens back in the 1990's and had a friend who's son was autistic. Grandin is the only autistic person I know of who has achieved so much success. Though I am certainly no expert, could she have Asperger's? At any rate, her story is worth reading about and if anyone is interested in learning a bit about her condition, this book is well worth a look. I received a free copy for review in exchange for a fair review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    Actually, the story is 5 stars and then some. Temple Grandin is beyond amazing and inspiring. I loved the movie, found the book a little boring (not the best writer), though a good researcher. I was buried in work and had to return it to the library a bit before finishing. I highly recommend finding out about this amazing, autistic woman who has revolutionized how cattle and other animals are handled (now MUCH more humanely).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    What Temple Grandin has been able to accomplish in her life, in spite of her autism, is amazing to me! This is a well-written book documenting her achievements, as well as covering other facets of autism. I would think that this would be an excellent read for anyone who has a child w/ autism or works w/ children who have autism.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    While the subject matter of this book was interesting, it felt as if it was trying to be both a biography of Temple Grandin and a history of autism. By trying to be both, this book accomplished neither. A good introduction, but this book's constant recommendation of Autism Speaks, a frankly quite ableist organization, made me mildly uncomfortable. While the subject matter of this book was interesting, it felt as if it was trying to be both a biography of Temple Grandin and a history of autism. By trying to be both, this book accomplished neither. A good introduction, but this book's constant recommendation of Autism Speaks, a frankly quite ableist organization, made me mildly uncomfortable.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Just OK. I was expecting much more detail about Temple. This book does include some more general info on autism, therapy animals etc., but somehow doesn't have "punch". If you want the GOOD stuff, read anything written by Grandin herself (thinking in Pictures, Emergence, ...) Just OK. I was expecting much more detail about Temple. This book does include some more general info on autism, therapy animals etc., but somehow doesn't have "punch". If you want the GOOD stuff, read anything written by Grandin herself (thinking in Pictures, Emergence, ...)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Recommended readers I would recommend this book for parents, teachers and anyone interested in child development. I taught my first autistic student in 1976 and wish I had much of the insight this book provides earlier in my career.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    An Amazing Woman As a special education teacher, and grandmother of a child on the spectrum, I want to learn as much as I can about autism. After watching the movie about Ms. Grandin, I knew I wanted more information from her perspective.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    I received this book free via Goodreads Giveaways. This was an excellent book to read to provide more insight into the life of Temple Grandin. She is such an inspiration to those on the spectrum and their family.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Enlightening perceptual descriptions and explanations. We all know someone with aspects of this brain activity; genius and savant is on this spectrum.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. Enjoyable and hopeful for those affected by Autism. Temple is an amazing human being.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Stacey

    Amazing! She has had an impact on all living beings. For a person who was considered to be disabled, she has been able to do more than most. A very inspiring story!

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