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Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism [Paperback]

Temple Grandin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 10 2006
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.

Frequently Bought Together

Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism + The Way I See It, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's + Temple Grandin
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.98

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From Amazon

Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's first book--and the first picture of autism from the inside--"quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable." Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and in Thinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Grandin, who feels she can "see through a cow's eyes," is an influential designer of slaughterhouses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight into human-animal relations. It would be mere justice if Thinking in Pictures transforms the study of religious feeling, too. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In her second autobiographical volume (after Emergence: Labelled Autistic), Grandin, a high-functioning autistic profiled by Oliver Sacks in his recent book, An Anthropologist on Mars, offers a series of original, linked essays on her life and work. An assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, her heightened ability to visualize allows her to make sense of the world by constructing concrete visual metaphors; for her, every concept must be tied into her nonverbal "video library" of particular people, places and associations. By thus enabling Grandin to put herself in the place of cows and other animals, her visual imagination has helped her to design humane livestock-processing equipment (these designs have been so effective that they now handle one-third of the nation's cattle and hogs). Throughout these essays, Grandin blends personal anecdotes with plainspoken accounts of scientific approaches to autism and methods of treatment, like drug therapy and a "squeeze machine" she invented to modify sensory stimulation. Although her prose is uneven, her insights and achievements are astonishing. Ultimately, Grandin finds within science and autism the basis for belief in God, given that her designs, which spring from her powers of visualization, reduce suffering and promote calm in both the animals and herself. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking in Pictures April 10 2004
I have no connection with autism. This book was recommended to me because I cannot think in pictures; my mind works with ideas and words. Temple Grandin has written a book about a way of thinking that is so alien to me she might as well be from a different planet. Absolutely amazing. I did not know that the world could be seen from this perspective. This book has changed the way I try to see the world. No TV program or lecture will cause you to shake your head in bewilderment like this book.
Temple Grandin is the Helen Keller of the 21st Century. Only her words can describe the world she lives in. Or maybe pictures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and inspirational account . . . March 26 2002
Temple Grandin's autobiographical work traces the entire span of her life in order to give a full and complete picture of an individual that has found her own way to cope with and overcome many of the obstacles presented by autism. She adopts a non-linear style, supplementing the story of her recent successes with recollections of her successes and failures along the way. Her discussion of autism is complemented by ample citation of scientific sources and of the accounts of many others who suffer with similar difficulties. She provides insight into many facets of autism: sensory, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual. The metaphor that ties her story together is her work with livestock, as she draws abundant comparisons between animal psychology and the workings of the autistic mind. The pursuit of more humane and civilized livestock-handling facilities is her life's work, and she empathizes strongly with the way that these animals feel. I found Temple Grandin's account of her life to be incredibly interesting and inspirational. I read the entire book in one sitting. Her writing style is clear and fluid and it is amazing that someone suffering from autism has been able to gain such a mastery of the written word. I saw no major weaknesses in her writing style, and was impressed by the coherent and original chronology that she employs.
The story of her life resonated with me on several different levels. Having read about autism and having seen the movie Rain Man, I thought I had a fairly good understanding of autism. Grandin's narrative opened my eyes, giving me a glimpse of the way that the autistic mind works. I also found her life to be interesting because of her work with farm animals.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The life and times of Temple Graindin March 18 2002
By Carey
... The book Thinking in Pictures involves the evaluation, from the first person perspective, of a life with autism, and delves into the complicated world of an autistic person. The book provides a clear explanation of almost all the problems that plaque a person with autism, and additionally shows the way an autistic person's mind works and
the way the world affects their thinking. The book conveys information primarily through the view of author Temple Graindin, but also makes references and comparisons to animal science and, thus provides an almost parallel theme to the
While parts of the book do diverge from the subject, the book provides an excellent summary of the life of an autistic in a non autistic world. Because the book is written from the first person, there is a personal touch to the book that draws the reader in and helps them to better experience Temple's world. The comparisons to animals also prove to be effective as they further emphasize how different an autistic person's
mind works as compared to our's. It, then as a result, further shows how an autistic person's world is completely different, yet the same to our own. The book at times, however, sometimes goes too in-depth with the descriptions of animal science and
sometimes reads like a cattle-dairy science textbook. Much of the book also deviates from the main topic of autism into her own philosophies of life. Finally, much of the information about the drugs is very tedious, and while it does provide much useful information, does not contribute much to the overall theme of the book. On the whole, the book is very interesting and helps to show the pictures of the autistic world.
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By A Customer
This is a must-read book for parents, professionals, and teenagers/adults living with autism (it is not appropriate for younger readers). It is easy to read, entertaining and informative. Readers will come away with a greater understanding of autism and how widely the spectrum of autistic disorders can vary, as well as what to do to help someone with autism.
Ms. Grandin's greatest gift lies in her ability to understand both the worlds of non-autistics and autistics alike. Using her personal experiences as well as significant contributions from other people, she explains how baffling the world is to a person with autistism, in terms of unwritten social codes, our reliance on verbal thinking, relationships, appearances, etc. She discusses concrete ways in which autistics can be helped to integrate with society -- in families, friendships, other relationships, schools, and jobs.
Her chapter on medication is valuable, discussing how autism often requires different doses than are commonly prescribed. This is information that isn't readily available unless you are working with a physician who has extensive experience with autistic patients. Since an autistic person is highly sensitive, the effects of behavior modification medications are often amplified, requiring a lower dose. Particular attention needs to be given to medication combinations.
There is also information on many of the related disorders that often accompany autism, such as sensory integration disorders, Tourrette's Syndrome, ADD, etc. Everything is written from the perspective of the autistic with Ms. Grandin acting as translator.
Besides being informative, the book is optimistic in its view of autism. Ms. Grandin plainly credits autism for her success in her chosen profession.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The story of an extremely inspiring woman.
Published 17 days ago by jaimejm
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography About Autism and Animals
Temple Grandin grew up with Asperger's Syndrome before it was understood by anyone but a handful of researchers. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John M. Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The book focuses on cattle. It is an eye-opener to the treatment of the cattle. The lies and the hurts by the Wealthy owners and Caregivers. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2011 by toby
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read
Temple Grandin is a high-functioning autistic (i.e., she has Asperger Syndrome). This book is her explanation of what it's like to live as an autistic, and how that life has given... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2010 by A. Volk
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Thought-provoking!
I admire Temple Grandin's way of thinking - visual thinking, which draws my attention. Although she had a speech delay in her childhood, she can turn every word she heard into... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2009 by edrm
5.0 out of 5 stars a bird's eye view
Temple gives us neuro-typicals a birds eye view into the world of autism. As a parent a question I found my self asking was "why do they do that? Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2006 by Tammy Germaine Ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
This book opened up my eyes to what life might be like with autism. Temple Grandin has an amazing honesty and a commendable willingness to share her world. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2005 by Shae-Beth Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer for understanding autism
I borrowed this book from a parent of an autistic child when I began working with autistic students in the public school system. It was invaluable to my understanding autism. Ms. Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by Christopher White
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into the autistic mind
In some passages, Ms. Grandin reflects on her humanity, her mortality and directly addresses her difficulties. I cannot wait to read her other books. Just wonderful.
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Mike Citykin
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
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... Read more
Published on June 15 2003 by Gary Selikow
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