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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Thinking In Pictures: My Life with Autism’ gives insight to enigmatic worldview

    A first impression of Temple Grandin’s “”Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism”” would probably not elicit a drive to tote the 243-page text to the pool on your day off. But like many initial reactions, this one would fool a person into passing up something well worth a second glance and that has the potential to fly by and alter your way of thought. Acting as a translator between people with autism and a populace blind to their sui generis worlds, Grandin provides affecting insight and depth to a way of thinking commonly considered a defect rather than a gift. 

    Because of Grandin’s ingenuity and fervor, her designs for livestock handling comprise one-third of the facilities in America. For a woman whose mind works in a constant series of feature films, “”Thinking In Pictures”” flows with a simplistic clarity many verbal thinkers fail to capture. Grandin illustrates concepts of complex neurological functions and what it is like to experience the world with the hypersensitive and often chaotic nervous system of an autistic person with perfect vividness.

    “”Thinking In Pictures”” breaks away from traditional autobiographical content. Instead of merely recounting influential life events, Grandin takes on a more pedagogical approach by adding recent updates in autistic research and illuminating how society can make use of it. She seizes any opportunity when detailing a memory to lecture the reader on how her experience with autism relates to the psychological state as a whole and what teachers, human resource managers and coworkers can do to help these individuals flourish in their fields of genius.

    Much the way her purely-logical brain works, Grandin breaks the text into chapters exploring the relationship between autism and sensory problems, emotions, medications, interpersonal relationships, religious views and beliefs. She touches on how autism enhanced her intuitiveness and expertise in developing livestock handling facilities and the blurring lines of cognitive thought between people with autism, animals and geniuses.

    Though at times the repetitive content and numerous references to autistic studies are tiresome, Grandin provides crucial insight into a section of humanity that plays an influential role in building our society. “”Thinking In Pictures”” is a must-read for anyone who sees the importance in finding the genius in those different from themselves.

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