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Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  13,551 ratings  ·  1,050 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
Paperback, Expanded Edition, 240 pages
Published January 10th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1995)
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Phoenix Blackdove Yes. I found it helpful both for the way Temple describes her personal ways of seeing the world, and for the references she lists. There's something b…moreYes. I found it helpful both for the way Temple describes her personal ways of seeing the world, and for the references she lists. There's something both revelatory and slightly creepy about reading, for the first time, an account by another person that so closely mirrors aspects of my life and thinking processes.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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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
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 of cattle, less terrifying and painful to the animals.
She provides insights into autism, but tends to generalize, describing some of her own experiences and conditions, as being general to all autistic, where they are not always so-not all of her generalizations are correct , and the limitation in relationships she as
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I will never forget that when the going got really tough [career-wise], Norb [Goscowitz, an industry administrator] told me 'No matter what, you must always persevere.'" -- Grandin, page 109

Temple Grandin's book works best when adhering to either the memoir format or just providing some general but occasionally detailed information on all sorts of aspects on autism. Her life is certainly an inspirational story, especially for those who are high-functioning or savants -- it is still only within
Marcy prager
Mar 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Madelyn Clare
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Review to come
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, psychology
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
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, not great, book. So why 4-stars and not 3? The subject matter. I have never seen someone better walk through Autism and the way autistic people think and relate it so clearly to the way "normal" folks think.

If you're interested in how people think (which I am) or you simply know someone with Autism, then this book is a must-read. Temple Grandin lays out her book in a series of essays that hit topics like: the different kinds of ways people think, and in-depth look at Visual Thou
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 STARS for Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism (audiobook)by Temple Grandin read by Deborah Marlowe. Temple Grandin is really an amazing person. It’s fascinating to hear how her mind works. It’s inspiring to hear how she has influenced an industry. It’s fascinating to understand how she visualizes everything. I have a bit of that but she is really on another level. I was fortunate enough to get to see her presentation at a local bookstore many years ago. I’m fascinated by how different pe ...more
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cr-book-group
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
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope you all aren't disappointed but I am so in awe of Temple Grandin after reading this book that I can't find the words to express it. What an awesome woman she is, we can all learn a great deal from her. On to the next book! ...more
Czarny Pies
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is clearly the best in the catalog of Temple Grandin who is a star performer on the circuit of parent conferences on Autism. It provides an inspirational tale of the struggles of an intelligent woman and a very courageous mother. Only buy this book if you attend a conference and can get it autographed.
Mark miller
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genome, mark
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
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Etta Mcquade
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
It's not poetry but very readable, a simple yet thorough description of autism, life experiences and educated guesses about how the wiring of the brain has a cause and effect on its operations which can be reasonably catalogued and documented. The suggestions to reach the brain despite the wiring distortions for sensory perceptions were eye opening and educating. Very interesting. ...more
Greta Cribbs
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where to start with this book?

First of all, I read this just after having finished Ms. Grandin's first book, Emergence. I loved that book for its unique insight into the world of autism, a world that, despite all the research and the push for awareness that has happened in the years since the book was written, is still highly misunderstood. I suppose the only people who are interested in knowing about it are the people who are personally affected by it, so the rest of the world carries on in bli
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
{Sept. 2016 book group selection} I was not familiar with Temple Grandin before reading this book, nor had I ever thought I’d read something explaining the process of designing livestock-handling facilities(!), but I found this book both fascinating and eye-opening. I already knew that people who are autistic think differently than those who aren’t, but it was really interesting to read about Temple’s thought processes and the way she is able to picture things in her head and combine parts and p ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a hard book for me to rate. There were parts I really liked and some that I had to skim through. Overall, I am incredibly impressed by Temple Grandin and I enjoyed learning more about autism through the eyes of someone who lives with it. I enjoyed discussing it with my book group, though our discussions veered off to real life experiences quite often. I would have liked to have learned a bit more about her family, but I guess since personal relationships are often difficult for people wi ...more
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Amy King
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Was really excited to read this.
Even though this took longer for me to get through, I enjoyed it and am glad I read it. Really gets you thinking about how different minds work (not just those on the spectrum, but my kids and anyone really) and how to try to meet them where they are to better communicate and understand them. Along the way you will learn more and broaden your way of seeing things and thinking. I did skip the some of the chapter about different meds, which is unlike me, but I coul
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Matthew Dumay
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Visualizing every word

This has been a quite touching read. I have had a growing interest in here and autism as a whole.
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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

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