The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
|The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: An enlightening and fascinating book on the workings of the Autistic Brain and the strengths displayed by three distinct types of thinker: picture thinkers, word fact thinkers and pattern thinkers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: March 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
Temple Grandin is a lady of many labels: professor of animal science, bestselling author, consultant, activist, engineer, public speaker and subject of an award-winning biopic. She also happens to be autistic, a label she earned at a very early age back in the days before the majority of people knew what autism was. She describes the timing of her diagnosis as fortuitous; only a few years later and the accepted ‘treatment’ for autistic children was removal from their parents and life in an institution.
In The Autistic Brain, Grandin describes what it is that makes her brain different from her neurotypical peers. She looks at the physical composition of the brain and how imaging techniques allow us to actually see the differences between the autistic and non-autistic brain. She also looks at the role that genetics has to play in autism, as well as the nature/nurture debate. She asks the question What is Autism? which turns out to have a surprisingly complex answer, given the huge range of traits displayed by those on the autistic spectrum.
We also learn about three specific types of autistic thinker: picture thinkers, word fact thinkers and pattern thinkers. Grandin argues that we should not focus on the weaknesses of autistic individuals, but rather look at the amazing talents and strengths that can be nurtured, transforming disability into employability and allowing autistic people to have meaningful, successful lives and careers.
This book is a useful, insightful reference work for anyone who has a family member or friend affected by autism. Grandin writes in an authoritative but accessible manner and she is a truly remarkable and inspiring individual. The Autistic Brain encourages readers to think about autism in new ways and envisions a bright future where autistics are appreciated for their talents rather than labelled as 'disabled'.
This book is an uplifting and fascinating read.
I recently enjoyed reading The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida and David Mitchell, another enlightening book written by an autistic author.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek at Amazon.com.
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