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The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
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Archives 2016-2017 > The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin - 4 stars (cross-posted to PBT Stairs)

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annapi | 4827 comments Fascinating look at the history of autism in medicine, particularly the diagnosis. Great also for practical advice on how to help autistic children function in the world. Particularly interesting for me is the classification of different types of thinking - visual, pattern, and word-fact. There were parts, especially near the beginning, where it got a little too technical and my mind wandered a bit, but overall the subject matter and Grandin's writing style kept me engaged.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I really must read this given that one of my son's is autistic. Interestingly I was reading a rant on Facebook a few days ago written by an autistic adult who finds it infuriating that Grandin gives parenting advice given that she works in agriculture!! I'm still very curious.


annapi | 4827 comments Susie wrote: "I really must read this given that one of my son's is autistic. Interestingly I was reading a rant on Facebook a few days ago written by an autistic adult who finds it infuriating that Grandin give..."

The first book I read of hers was Thinking in Pictures; this is my second. I will be looking into her books about animals next. She is fascinating and gives a great insight into the autistic mind, and I believe has helped advance understanding of it. If you want a copy of both, I can email them to you.


message 4: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6821 comments I highly recommend seeing the biopic on Temple Grandin as well, to learn more about it. Clare Danes played Grandin and did a superb job.


annapi | 4827 comments Karin wrote: "I highly recommend seeing the biopic on Temple Grandin as well, to learn more about it. Clare Danes played Grandin and did a superb job."

Yes, I saw that and I agree! It was a great film.


message 6: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments That would be great. Thank you! :-)


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8081 comments I heard Temple Grandin speak at the Massachusetts Federation of Special Needs Gala. She was amazing! She's looking me the top person when it comes to autism and spectrum kids. She's hugely touted here. And lovely in person on top of that. I think her input is more than worth a go.

On another note, Susie I read your review moments after all is excitingly revealed at the end of book three. I was happy for hours sharing that with my kid. Harry Potter can do wonders for a Parent child duo. Seriously, I floated to the next basketball game. Both my kids, when it gets to this part in the book, they stop complaining and want to finish it the very that very day. Special moments.


message 8: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6821 comments Amy wrote: "I heard Temple Grandin speak at the Massachusetts Federation of Special Needs Gala. She was amazing! She's looking me the top person when it comes to autism and spectrum kids. She's hugely touted h..."

I agree on the top person for autism, but not for Asperger's (which shouldn't have been lumped on there as they are both umbrella diagnoses). For aspies there are some other FABULOUS writers who have a totally different experience and outlook than does Grandin.

Sadly, due to over-diagnosing to get services, lines have become muddled. The way this spectrum is described means every single person on the planet can fall somewhere on it, but that's a soapbox for a different day. I know people with both, and people who work with both, and opinion is hotly divided on this (such is life!!!)

My biggest pet peeve is when it gets stereotyped on TV or when TV cops, etc, make nearly instant diagnoses. I'm sure that happens in other areas, too. This is why I watch Speechless since they actually have an actor with cerebral palsy playing the character with cerebral palsy, who gives input when filming, etc, that, even though it's an over-the-top sit-com, makes it more realistic (also well-cast).

Okay, tangent over.

Yes, Temple Grandin is fabulous and has opened many doors to helping kids and people with autism. I also applaud her mother (and father) for not giving up back the 1950s when she was told Temple would never be able to talk, etc, etc.


message 9: by Blueberry (new) - added it

Blueberry (blueberry1) Karin wrote: "Amy wrote: "I heard Temple Grandin speak at the Massachusetts Federation of Special Needs Gala. She was amazing! She's looking me the top person when it comes to autism and spectrum kids. She's hug..."

From the DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)... Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
This may have been the same in the DSM- 4. A diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum includes a very wide array of characteristics, abilities and levels of severity.


message 10: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments The DSM 4 had the three differentiated, but now they are all under the autism spectrum disorder umbrella. It was a very controversial change.


message 11: by Karin (last edited Feb 01, 2017 10:33AM) (new)

Karin | 6821 comments Blueberry wrote: "Karin wrote: "Amy wrote: "I heard Temple Grandin speak at the Massachusetts Federation of Special Needs Gala. She was amazing! She's looking me the top person when it comes to autism and spectrum k..."

Yes, but many people strongly disagree with the DSM - 5, both professionals and lay people. I am one of those who strongly disagrees. An acquaintance of mine even did her master's thesis on the meaningless of this spectrum today. AANE and other aspie organizastions were furious at the change in the DSM over this, as well.

I have a few aspie relatives (one a highly successful corporate lawyer in private practice who can easily afford to live in what was the most expensive city in Canada and may still be, West Vancouver, which is not part of Vancouver), and one of the first things I was told by a diagnosing expert was that at least one of these relateives did NOT belong on that spectrum.

This is not an exact science, so it's hard to draw large scale conclusions, and taking more than one umbrella diagnosis and drawing them under an even larger one hurts more than helps people--I've seen that stereotyping that comes from it.


message 12: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 7947 comments I love her books about animals! I like her (and started reading her) for the animal books, though I have also read a couple focusing on her Autism, as well.


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