Came for the autism, stayed for the Labradors. Background: Temple Grandin is an animal behavior specialist. She's single-handedly revolutionized the humane treatment of slaughter animals in the United States. She's also a vital force in the neurodiversity movement. This book argues broadly that animal cognition shares some key features with autistic cognition – picture-thinking, working memory shortages, detail-fixation, etc. It also takes a fascinating tour through what we know about animal emotion, consciousness, and cognition.
Awesome, on multiple levels. The animal psychology wasn't just interesting (though it really is!) but also useful for those of us who handle a working dog. And also, Temple Grandin is one of those people who manages to make her life a sustained act of advocacy, which is something I aspire to on my very best days. This book spends some time explicitly explaining autistic cognition, but it more subtly is autistic in a way that just says, here's my brain. It's not like yours. Just so you know.