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Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism Paperback – Illustrated, January 10, 2006
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Updated for a new era, the 25th anniversary edition of this seminal work on autism and neurodiversity provides “a uniquely fascinating view” (Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand) of the differences in our brains.
Originally published in 1995 as an unprecedented look at autism, Grandin writes from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person to give a report from “the country of autism.” Introducing a groundbreaking model which analyzes people based on their patterns of thought, Grandin “charts the differences between her life and the lives of those who think in words” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
For the new edition, Grandin has written a new afterword addressing recent developments in the study of autism, including new diagnostic criteria, advancements in genetic research, updated tips, insights into working with children and young people with autism, and more.
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“A uniquely fascinating view not just of autism but of animal—and human—thinking and feeling, [providing] insights that can only be called wisdom.” –Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand
"There are innumerable astounding facets to this remarkable book. . . . Displaying uncanny powers of observation . . . [Temple Grandin] charts the differences between her life and the lives of those who think in words." –The Philadelphia Inquirer
“I hardly know what to say about this remarkable book. . . It provides a way to understand the many kinds of sentience, human and animal, that adorn the earth.” –Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs
From the Back Cover
Temple Grandin is renowned throughout the world as a designer of livestock holding equipment. Her unique empathy for animals has her to create systems which are humane and cruel free, setting the highest standards for the industry the treatment and handling of animals. She also happens to be autistic. Here, in Temple Grandin's own words, is the story what it is like to live with autism. Temple is among the few people who have broken through many the neurological impairments associated with autism. Throughout her life, she has developed unique coping strategies, including her famous "squeeze machine," modeled after seeing the calming effect squeeze chutes on cattle. She describes her pain isolation growing up "different" and her discovery visual symbols to interpret the "ways of the natives" "Thinking in Pictures also gives information from the frontlines of autism, including treatme medication, and diagnosis, as well as Temple's insight into genius, savants, sensory phenomena, etc. Ultimately, it is Temple's unique ability describe the way her visual mind works and how she first made the connection between her impairment and animal temperament that is the basis of extraordinary gift and phenomenal success.
"From the Hardcover edition.
- Publisher : Vintage; Reissue,Anniversary edition (January 10, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 270 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307275655
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307275653
- Lexile measure : 1120L
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2018
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After seeing a movie about Temple Grandin that was beautifully made. While also being interested in the many people who suffer from many different cognitive dysfunctions. I had to get this.
This woman had gone through so many adversities and rose above them all and with gusto. In her own way. This book is perfect for anyone struggling, just on their own. Or if they are anywhere on the spectrum. Or have a hint of Autism or Aspergers. What many laypersons do not know or understand is that these on the spectrum people are geniuses! It may not seem like it with their difficulties with communication or trouble making eye contact etc etc. But their brains are wired differently and that allows them to think differently or learn differently or in most cases, better than the average individual.
As a sufferer of O.C.D. Thinking in Pictures is just up my alley since I see in numbers.
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.
This book doesn't erase our fears, this book opens our eyes to see WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO to help them, and give us hope... not just ideas but specific examples of what to do.
It was hard for me to read this also because it goes deep about autism and genetics... It is very hard to accept that my husband and I gave our wonderful child the "bad genes".
Once you get over the guilt, this book helps you to understand that along with autism, there goes a lot of "genius" genes.
this book is a must.
Top reviews from other countries
Her invention of a machine to calm herself, to give herself a steady pressure around her body she found applied in a similar way to the cattle she designing restraints for.
Temple's ability to manipulate videos in her mind was another interesting insight into her world.
Anyone who has any contact with an autistic person should read this book by someone who's spent a lifetime learning about herself.
Grandin is at her best when writing of her personal experiences, which give an insight into autism that can probably not be reached in any way other than hearing the voice of people with this condition (or, more rightly, spectrum of condition). Similarly her capacity to understand others with autism means that she can provide insight from beyond her own direct experience, and I was enthralled by her description of one friend with autism who took years to understand that the meaningless noises his speech therapist insisted on making were in fact a way of conveying meaning to another mind.
She's less engaging when writing about the medicine behind autism and how it might be treated. Whilst a fact-based mind like hers will be drawn to this, it makes for less insightful writing and is possibly double-edged because she's not a medical professional and some of the information in the latter sections may not have the authority it appears to show. it's dIfficult to be confident on that statement because a common theme within the book is that existing medicine and psychology is at an early stage when helping people with autism, but it would probably be wise to treat this part of the book as a useful source of information rather than a definitive guide on how therapies can or should develop.
It's a fascinating book for anyone that could be hugely helpful to anyone with a family member on the autistic spectrum, but the best of it is Grandin herself.
In this book Temple Grandin gives a very clear impression of what it like to think and experience the World and other people with her kind of intensely visual thinking style, and she also offers insights into other kinds of autistic thinking styles, and by contrast into neurotypical thinking and - because it is her area of professional expertise - the insights her autism gives her into the minds of animals, particularly farm animals.
She gives plenty of examples from her own life and experience to illustrate her points, and the book has a number of photographs of Grandin from childhood to womanhood, including a photograph of her in the hugging machine she famously designed, along with photos of some of Grandin's own blueprints for humane and calming cattle-handling systems.
If you yourself are on the autistic spectrum or if a friend or loved one is, this will be a particularly fascinating and enlightening book, written from the inside by a very intelligent woman who has given many years of thought to understanding herself, her condition, and how to explain it to others.
I have given it only four stars because it has one minor fault::it lacks biographical coherence. Temple Grandin offers particular biographical details anecdotally and piece-meal to support specific points and observations she is making but she never gives even a brief over-arching narrative of her complete life, which sometimes makes the book feel a bit fractured..
That said, this is a very positive and empowering book with absolutely nothing of the "misery memoir" about it and I recommend it very strongly.