Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism

by Temple Grandin

Other authorsOliver Sacks (Foreword)
Hardcover, 1995




Doubleday (1995)


Here, in Temple Grandin's own words, is the story of what it is like to live with autism, to be among the few people who have broken through many of the neurological impairments associated with autism. Throughout her life, she has developed unique coping strategies, including her famous "squeeze machine," which she modeled after seeing the calming effect of squeeze chutes on cattle. She describes her painful isolation growing up "different" and her discovery of visual symbols to interpret the "ways of the natives." Thinking in Pictures also gives information from the front lines of autism, including treatment, medication, and diagnosis, as well as Temple's insights into genius, savants, sensory phenomena, and animal behavior. Ultimately, it is Temple's unique ability to describe the way her visual mind works and how she first made the connection between her impairment and animal temperament that is the basis of her extraordinary gift and phenomenal success.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member dickmanikowski
A high-functioning autistic woman who has created a successful career designing humane livestock holding and slaughterhouse facilities shares her insights into what makes her different from other persons. Starting from an almost entirely visual thinking process, she elaborates the perceptual, social, and emotional life of an autistic. As a person with Asperger Syndrome (which is part of the autism spectrum) myself, I found this book to be both helpful and hopeful.… (more)
LibraryThing member leslieg
I'm the mother of 4 kids. One with brain injury that sometimes looks like autism, one with Aspergers. Both with sensory issues that affect their lives. And a husband with Aspergers. A good friend has a severely autistic child. For me, this book has been mind-blowing. Amazing - she has made amazing progress and insights. Stunning - to see glimpses into how the brains of my children and husband work at the times when I usually just cannot understand them. It is fascinating to realize that I am reading a usually well-written book by a fully autistic woman. I am in awe of her talents and abilities, and grateful for the education she has given me.… (more)
LibraryThing member aliciamalia
This is an interesting, important book that I completely failed to respond to. It's written by an autistic woman, and deals with what's it like to be autistic (as well as what's it's like to be a cow--the author really likes cows). I definitely learned a lot, but finishing it was painful.
LibraryThing member IFAware
on a journey to think out-side-of-my-usual box; invitation to see things from another level adds to wider skill set for information gathering and thinking
LibraryThing member donkeytiara
when starting it, i thought temple grandin wrote rather repetitively (as many autistics), and i thought i'd never make it through this book.....but once my thinking adapted to her writing, this was a phenomenal book. I have interests in both cattle and in counseling, so HOW BIZARRE to find a book where the 2 unlikely topics intersect. Grandin not only tackles her thinking processes, but touches on religion, slaughterhouse ethics, geniuses, learning empathy, biochemistry (although dated) and other topics. fascinating reading for those who like to step into someone else's world where things are very very different... this one will stay on my bookshelf.… (more)
LibraryThing member KatyBee
This is an extraordinary book - it is wonderfully written view about what is like to be autistic. Highly recommended.
LibraryThing member paperhouses
A very elucidating view into autism, from the grande dame of autistics, as it were. I completely respect her and hope that I can one day hear her speak. I'm in awe of all she accomplished. She shattered the bullet-proof plexiglass ceiling of autism, opened herself to the world and her world to us. I'm simply astounded. I wish I was one iota that smart. Pure genius.… (more)
LibraryThing member govindthange
This book is a good read and explains a great deal about how a pure visual thinking brain thinks.
LibraryThing member TerriBooks
The book tries to do two things -- present the author's experiences as a person with autism and educate about autism diagnoses, treatment, and education. I think both are fine, I just don't think they combine well into a single book. Maybe because I don't have a need for the latter, and was only interested in the former, I found that discussions about medication, diet, teaching methods and such got in the way of my enjoyment. I would have preferred a book that was simply about Ms Grandin's life; for those sections I would have give 4 or 5 stars.… (more)
LibraryThing member ThePinesLibrary
This book offers Temple Grandin's insights into autism and the way people with autism think and act. Shows how Temple Grandin managed to move beyond the confines set by autism and function independently.
LibraryThing member homeschoolmimzi
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 all autistic people are like her! Not all autistic people are visual learners, they all *don't* 'think in pictures'...This is of course, one of the ironies with autistics: their own theory of mind issues come in to play in their writing about autism. If you want to read a good book written by someone with autism/aspergers, read Born on A Blue Day, by Daniel Tammet, or Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything, by a delightful boy named Kenneth Hall. There are many others too.… (more)
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Wow. We learn about Grandin, and autism, and cattle handling, and the cognitive abilities of other animals.... Fascinating and enlightening - especially recommended for parents and teachers.


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