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Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (1995)

by Temple Grandin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1492317,712 (3.94)61
Biography & Autobiography. Psychology. Nonfiction. HTML:

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.

.… (more)
  1. 10
    Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers by John Elder Robison (meggyweg)
  2. 11
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (magelet87)
    magelet87: although "the curious incident of the dog in the night" is a work of fiction, it explains the life of aspergers as well as temple grandin's book.
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» See also 61 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I'm in two minds about this book.

The book is a mix of the author's own experiences and trying to explain more generally about autism.

I enjoyed hearing her own experiences. She brings a unique point of view to the table, and hearing about how she approaches and thinks about her work is interesting.

However, the information on autism suffers from the age of the book - originally written 26 years ago, and revised 15 years ago.

While she does say that autism differs in different individuals, there are plenty of sections where (what I feel is) over-generalizations are made, as if they apply to all autistic individuals.

It (briefly) talks about how vaccines may be a cause of autism, an idea that has caused much harm to autistic individuals over the years, and has been utterly debunked for quite a while.

The benefits of ABA are also talked about, a type of "therapy" based around training autistics to suppress their natural behavior to fit in better, rather than finding out the reasons for the behavior to help find reasonable accommodations for their needs. It is not hard to find extensive discussions of people being traumatized by this if you go looking. https://reddit.com/r/autism/comments/pe8ohn/opinion_on_aba_therapy/ is a good starting point if you want to learn more.

While the book does contain some good information, it is littered with much information I would put caveats on with our current understanding of autism. I'm sure it was quite informative at the time it was written - our understanding has just shifted since then. ( )
1 vote Pishmoffle | Mar 27, 2023 |
3.5 stars

Temple Grandin is autistic, and grew up to earn a PhD in animal science. This book is an autobiography combined with information on autism, with plenty of animal anecdotes thrown in, as well.

This was good. No question my interests are more in line with the animal portions of the book, but the autistic information was interesting, as well. I was particularly interested in Temple's own childhood and how she thinks in pictures (hence the title) – some autistics do that, but not all. She included plenty of psychological and scientific information on autism, in addition to the anecdotes from her own life (and the lives of other autistics she knows or has heard from), as well as advice for parents of children with autism. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 18, 2022 |
I was very interested in it at first, but as it went on, I actually got bored. It seemed repetitious. I think as the book went on my impression of it became colored by the fact that I find autistic people very, very hard to deal with. Temple Grandin reminded me strongly of someone I knew in school and had to partner with in a cooking class. While it was fascinating to see how she’s found a way of life that works for her, everything about her was annoying me and I couldn’t help thinking how irritating she’d be if I met her. ( )
  piemouth | Feb 18, 2022 |
50% done with book, but could not finish.. too much detail for an outsider like me. Grandin is truly a scholar, so if you want to know something about autism, this is a pretty definitive read. ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
I think this could be used as a wonderful reference. This also increased my understanding of autism as Ive only known a couple of people with it.
( )
  audraelizabeth | Jun 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grandin, Templeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sacks, OliverForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I dedicate this book to my mother.
Her love, dedication, and insight
enabled me to succeed.
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I think in pictures.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Biography & Autobiography. Psychology. Nonfiction. HTML:

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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Book description
The idea that some people think differently, though no less humanly, is explored in this inspiring book. Temple Grandin is a gifted and successful animal scientist, and she is autistic. Here she tells us what it was like to grow up perceiving the world in an entirely concrete and visual way - somewhat akin to how animals think, she believes - and how it feels now. Through her finely observed understanding of the workings of her mind, she gives us an invaluable insight into autism and its challenges.
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