Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin

Thinking in Pictures (Expanded, Tie-in Edition): My Life with Autism (Vintage)
Temple Grandin, the author of this book, has the asperger's form of autism.  She has a Ph.D. in animal science and compares the thinking process of autistic people to that of animals.  She explains how it feels to her to be autistic, and she has learned from other people with autism, what it feels like to them as well.
She explains how she does not think in words, but rather visualizes everything in images.  She believes that Einstein, Bill Gates and many other highly intelligent people have or had autistic traits and that autism is not necessarily a bad thing, just different. 

She works designing livestock handling facilities used to dip the animals and to lead them to slaughter.  The book talks a lot about animals.  She has designed facilities that make slaughtering animals more humane.  I wondered about that, but this quote helped it make sense to me: "Most people don't realize that the slaughter plant is much gentler than nature.  Animals in the wild die from starvation, predators, or exposure.  If I had a choice, I would rather go through a slaughter system than have my guts ripped out by coyotes or lions while I was still conscious.  Unfortunately, most people never observe the natural cycle of birth and death.  They do not realize that for one living thing to survive, another living thing must die." 

I think this is a very interesting, well written book and that Ms. Grandin explains how her mind works and helps us to see into the minds of other people with autism. 

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