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Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  7,476 ratings  ·  658 reviews
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 fr
...more
Paperback, Expanded Edition, 240 pages
Published January 10th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1995)
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Megan
Oh, I love Temple Grandin. I didn't expect that I was going to. See, there's this boy - I'll call him Blake - who comes into the library with his mom every Wednesday. He gets some movies, and his mom gets the baby sign language DVDs, and he always gets a couple of science books. He waits patiently at the desk, and he's this picture of quivery anticipation when I walk up to help him, because he knows what he has to do. And he grins and he waves, awkwardly, a sort of half-wave, practiced over and ...more
Marcy
Temple Grandin made it very clear how autism affected her as a child and as an adult. She was lucky to have her mom's, her aunt's, and teachers' help to help Temple through the hard times. Being a visual learner, Temple has a memory which retains visual pictures in her head like a CD. She has a video library in her head with all of her memories. She uses these videos to create livestock design projects and humane facilities for cattle.

Temple has always identified with animals, in their thinking
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Lisa
Sep 09, 2008 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People working in Human Services
The tragedy of this book is that even as Temple Grandin's crusade to help slaughter farm animals humanely led to many changes, I tend to doubt these changes are still in effect. Particularly management imparting a sense of care and concern for the animals. I live near a plant she designed. This plant, until a year ago, was staffed by many illegal immigrants. Many of the current staff are Monolinguals (non-English). And some from cultures that do not revere (and in fact mutilate)female human bein ...more
Madelyn Clare
Saw her on C-Span in an hour and a half long sit down w/Steve. It's still up. Moved me to tears, am dyslexic, and loved her characterization of our difficulties. She's a treasure. Too many of my friends have born children who are somewhere on the spectrum. I've been promoting her, and gifting her books to them, in hopes that they'll hear her central message, which is:
people on the spectrum only ever get better.
Stephen
I have to admit, I didn't read this book because I particularly wanted to. As a parent of an autistic child, many well-meaning people will ask, "Do you know about Temple Grandin?" I initially picked up the book just so I could say that I was familiar with her, and had read some of her work. I didn't expect to actually enjoy the book as much as I did. Dr. Grandin writes in a very straight forward, no nonsense fashion that I really found easy to follow. She does a fantastic job of explaining how h ...more
David
Temple Grandin's book "Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism" is certainly a unique book. Grandin writes in simple, understandable prose about how she and others with autism cope with life. She describes the difficulties she has had with social encounters, and how she has learned how to relate to others on an intellectual, rather emotional level. Grandin has a Ph.D. in animal science. She has made a career of designing equipment for handling livestock.

Grandin describes
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Dawn
This is a fascinating book written by a woman with high-functioning autism. Temple Grandin describes her life struggles and triumphs. Her unique way of thinking allows her to really identify with animals and to be able to look at situations from their point of view. This talent has allowed her to design very humane slaughterhouses for cattle. She has revolutionized the cattle industry in the US with her designs, which are also being widely copied. Grandin has an analytical mind and earnest feeli ...more
Nikki Frankel
I was expecting more of a memoir, but this really ended up being Ms. Grandin's opinion on different aspects of autism with her own experiences only sprinkled in. It was difficult to get through the more technical aspects of the book and it was frustrating how often information was repeated. There were points that were interesting and I do feel like I have a better handle on autism in general, but that just wasn't what I was expecting when I decided to read this book.

If you are curious about aut
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Bethany
Highly recommend! One of the top reads of 2010. My son was diagnosed with autism earlier this year and I felt like this was a great way to get some insight to the way that he thinks. In a world where it seems that everyone is looking for the magic "cure" for autism, I was glad to read that Temple wouldn't change a thing. Autism is a part of my son's entire being and personality. Gave me a lot of hope that he will lead a successful and happy life as an adult doing something that he loves. "Differ ...more
Mark miller
The book is about Temple Grandin and living with autism. She is really a remarkable and amazing person. She was able to receive a Ph.D in Animal Science and currently an associate professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. She frequently lectures about autism. Many people don't understand autism, so in effect they are afraid of it. People and scientists work on finding a cure for the "disease", which in my opinion it is not a disease but a natural progression of evolution.Many in ...more
Suzy
One of the theories about people on the autism spectrum is that they lack "theory of mind." Wikipedia defines that as: "the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own." But the more I read about autism and spend time with children on the spectrum, the more I become convinced that we could as easily say that the world lacks the a ...more
Catherine
A fascinating look at what its like to be autistic. Her mother was an amazing woman, no doubt, but she has a very valuable ability to interpret her inner life for the rest of us. I learned a great deal about the different ways of thinking that are not verbal--visual images, nonverbal sounds, patterns, match--and the problem of sensory overload that afflicts many autistic individuals. Her message of hope and her obvious passion for the lives of those who may be brilliant but need a great deal of ...more
Deb
What an inspiring human being! I never had considered autism/Asperger's traits to be potentially a genetic BENEFIT before. This book taught me so much about what it means to live with a Dx on the spectrum as well as how not all human beings think the same. I guess I'd never really thought about it much before but had assumed that everyone thinks the same way I do. I chalked my talents up to giftedness and my deficits up to just not being too smart in those areas like other people are. The book h ...more
Mie
Just simply AMAZING. I did not read the book yet but I saw the movie and it was outstanding. Dr. Temple Grandin teach at Colorado State University. Never ever give up on any children they all have a fantastic mind of their own. Give them as many extra chances as they need until they open the door to another world.

I read the book in one day...facinating, and very interesting. I keep my rating at 5 stars. A must read for all educators, therapists, parents and people who just want to learn more abo
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Jennifer
I have a child with autism and first read this book when my child was diagnosed ten years ago. I was fascinated with the look inside the head of someone living with the ailment. Temple Grandin's insights were useful, helpful and uplifting, allowing me hope at a time I was searching for it -- when everything else was too overwhelming. Even if you do not know someone with autism, this book is a gripping read.
Etta Mcquade
Since I have two grandsons who are autistic, I was interested in learning more. Temple Grandin seemed very honest, educated and sincere in her appraisal of autisim. Because I basically "think in only words," I had difficulty seeing how Temple and other autistics think. However, the book was extremely enligthening. I hope to be able to use some of things I learned in working with and understanding my grandsons.
Willa
A good book written by a well-known woman with autism, who has become a key authority in the cattle industry and also gives talks and writes upon the subject of autism. She covers many different topics related to the condition: growing up with autism, making use of your gifts and interests, how autistic people think differently, autism and the workplace, autism and biochemistry and medication, autism and relationships, autism and religion. She also talks about some famous people who had possibly ...more
Tracy
The writing doesn't flow easily, but it is written simply. Temple Grandin does a very good job of describing how the intake of information and the sharing of it is different for people with autism. Anyone who knows someone with autism or is dealing with it should consider this book. It's a good basic introduction to some related issues. She's an admirable woman, and I liked how forthright and persistent she is despite some of the obstacles she faced. She grappled with a lot of ignorance and sexi ...more
Homeschoolmama
I give this book one star. I know most people will probably disagree strongly with me, but I found this to be a difficult and tedious read. While I admire Temple for her talent, ingenuity, courage and determination in pursuing her education and career goals, I find her writing to be all over the place, rambling, difficult to follow and limited- in that she makes sweeping generalizations about autistic people, based on her own personal experience of course. What she fails to realize is that not a ...more
Julie Ecker
This is an autobiography of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism. In it she describes how she thinks in pictures. She describes her mind as operating like 3-D computer programs - only much better! She believes that animals think in pictures and this is in part how she has come to designing animal handling (including slaughter) equipment.

I enjoyed reading the book and learning about how she and other autistics think. She explains well how baffling the world is to a person with autism, in terms of
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Carol
Temple Grandin is a gifted translator to "normal" people, communicating the differences in the autistic thought process. Clearly, she is a messenger of hope to many. I often found myself marveling at the complexities of the human brain.

Two things distracted me: I found it hard to track the section on anti-psychotic drugs; and her take on religious faith and the afterlife was interesting, but—to my mind—inconsistent.

My curiosity always runs ahead of me: I stopped the book several times to watch
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Linda
I found this book to be fascinating and thought-provoking. This is a new edition of the book she wrote ten years ago, and in this Grandin adds an update to each chapter.
This is the story of Grandin's life, her disability--autism, and her great ability to design humane facilities for livestock. This is an intimate and insightful look into a person's mind and personality. I learned much more than about autism, I learned about "differentness" and that it may not always be negative.
I am very impress
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Sue
I want to give this more stars because of the miracle of it existing at all, but I am trying to rated based on content and literary appeal. Temple Grandin is amazing. Her mind works in ways that none of us can fathom, yet she is able to communicate it to us in a way that gives us insight beyond anything we could have imagined. I'm sorry to say that I found the book repetitious at times. Perhaps that is an editing problem more than the authors problem. Also, the style of writing made me want to s ...more
Val Burstein
I learned so much about autism from this book, how they think, the mechanisms Grandin uses to make the best of her situation, the positive aspects of autism, etc. She is an inspiring woman who should be learned from!
Debbie
Temple Grandin describes her experiences as few are able - as an objective observer of her own thoughts and actions. Thinking in Pictures unfolds as Temple designs a revolutionary and humane cow chute,a surpise in itself. It offers a startling picture of how, in many ways, it was easier for Grandin to identify with the cattle than to relate to others. She's a brilliant, articular woman with high-functioning autism. She doesn't represent the entire spectrum of autistic individuals, but she certai ...more
Chrisitna
This book has been an eye opener for me. As Autism becomes more prevalent in our society, it is a blessing to understand from someone who has Autism what it is like to function in an Autistic world. My youngest son, though not Autistic, would rank much higher on the Autism spectrum scale than most people. So many of the things that Temple Grandin describes have helped me to recognize how my child copes with the world. I have had so many "ah-ha" moments reading this book and recognizing small asp ...more
Carol
Temple Grandin offers a lot to think about in her memoir of her years as a gifted autistic person. She does an outstanding job of telling us of her life as she matured and educated herself for a productive and fulfilling life as a Ph.D. teaching animal husbandry at Colorado State University. Beyond that, she delivers the most introspective analysis of how she performs and why she performs as she interacts with the people in her life. She left me very inspired to think often of who I am and why I ...more
Joseph
Fascinating look at the world from inside another person's mind. She covers a lot of scientific and interdisciplinary ground in explaining how the autistic/aspergers mind works in the world we live in.

She uses a lot of examples from her work as an animal behaviorist designing more efficient slaughterhouses which works most of the time, but gets a little repetitive. But that's the nature of her "disability."

Overall, an excellent read for anyone interested in psychology, Autism or biography.
Julie
Beyond fascinating look inside the mind of someone whose mind works in a completely different fasion than most other people. Grandin, although autistic, has been able to analyze her own thought processes and in this book compares that to the way she believes non-autism sufferers think. She is elocuent, too, in describing the problems people with autism have in relating to others since they feel no emotions. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the human condition in all its forms.
Ann
I was eager to read this book after listening to Temple Grandin interviewed on NPR. I have great respect for what she has accomplished given her challenges. However, I found this book to be pedantic and repetitious. Her lack of social skills and empathy show in her writing style. She lists endless studies to assess what has worked for her. I have ordered the movie and hope I will like that better.
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Temple Grandin, Ph.D., didn't talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She tells her story of "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, ...more
More about Temple Grandin...
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's Emergence: Labeled Autistic

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“In an ideal world the scientist should find a method to prevent the most severe forms of autism but allow the milder forms to survive. After all, the really social people did not invent the first stone spear. It was probably invented by an Aspie who chipped away at rocks while the other people socialized around the campfire. Without autism traits we might still be living in caves.” 64 likes
“But my favorite of Einstein's words on religion is "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." I like this because both science and religion are needed to answer life's great questions.” 56 likes
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