Beth Cato's Reviews > Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
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Apr 10, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: in, 2009, autism, nonfiction
Read in March, 2009

Temple Grandin is autistic and brilliant. She is known for her work with animals, in particular cattle; she's designed half of the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. In this book with Cathrine Johnson, she explores the viewpoints of animals themselves in contrast with autistic and normal people. The results are astonishing. The subject sounds dry, but the writing is not. Through citations of scientific studies and personal experience, Grandin makes the case for animal brilliance. I could note any numbers of especially intriguing information in this book:[return][return]- Rapist roosters are becoming more prevalent because as chickens have been bred for bigger breasts, they have lost other important genetic material such as mating dances. Some roosters also murder the hen after the rape.[return][return]- Albinos are highly unusual in nature, and with reason - they have more flaws and nervous problems. This is becoming more prevalent with Dalmatians, which are being bred to be as white as possible, but are having increasing health issues that are harming the integrity of the breed.[return][return]- How animals handle pain, and why: if a prey animal shows pain, it makes them likely to be culled by a predator. Certain breeds are more tolerable of pain, such as Labradors, because they are a type of dog designed to jump into ice-cold water. This pain tolerance is why they handle young children so well.[return][return]- A leucotomy is similar to a lobotomy but only severs the connections to the frontal lobe instead of removing it entirely. The 1949 Nobel Prize winner developed the procedure to assist people dealing with severe, chronic pain. These patients still felt the tremendous pain, constantly, but after the operation they no longer cared. They could finally function in their daily lives and the pain just didn't matter anymore.[return][return]In case you couldn't tell, this is an awesome book to completely geek-out with. I couldn't wait to share facts like these with my husband and my mom. In addition, since my son is autistic, I learned more about seeing the world through his viewpoint, something that presents a daily challenge in my household. I can only hope he grows up and experiences as much success as Temple Grandin.
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