Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

By Temple Grandin

Thinking in Pictures “delivers a report from the country of autism…writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person…”

Grandin is a “gifted animal scientist who has designed one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States.” And, partly due to her autism, she has a strange and unique perceptive capacity that’s fascinating to learn about.

This book “provides a way to understand the many kinds of sentience, human and animal, that adorn the earth.” It contains eleven chapters total. Chapters on Autism and Visual Thought, Diagnosing Autism, Sensory Problems in Autism, Emotion and Autism. Chapters on autism and talent, medication, relationships, animal thought, genius, religion and belief.

It’s hard to really understand autism and the depths of how it affects a person. I think this book is notable for how it gives a clear sense of how autism has affected Grandin’s life, both in the challenges it has presented and the path it has opened for her to do some really interesting work.

This is a sort of “narrative-essay” about her life and *experience*, which seems fascinating on many levels. It seems like a nice blend of personal story plus actual research on autism. It gives us an important glimpse into her life — and a way of being, seeing, and experiencing the world that’s very different from “normal”. In other words, it’s a humbling exercise in empathy.

Additional information:

  • ISBN: 978-0307275653
  • Publisher: Vintage

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* Independent online book marketplaces. While these sites are often lighter on data / reviews, and thus not the first place to go to learn about a book, they're a great place to actually purchase!