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Thinking in Pictures
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Published to coincide with the paperback edition of Animals in Translation. Foreword by Oliver Sacks Temple Grandin was the subject of a BBC Horizon special, The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow

About the Author

Temple Grandin is an associate professor of animal science at Colorado State University. She was the subject of the famous New Yorker profile by Oliver Sacks, 'An Anthropologist on Mars'.

Reviews

In her second autobiographical volume (after Emergence: Labelled Autistic), Grandin, a high-functioning autistic profiled by Oliver Sacks in his recent book, An Anthropologist on Mars, offers a series of original, linked essays on her life and work. An assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, her heightened ability to visualize allows her to make sense of the world by constructing concrete visual metaphors; for her, every concept must be tied into her nonverbal ``video library'' of particular people, places and associations. By thus enabling Grandin to put herself in the place of cows and other animals, her visual imagination has helped her to design humane livestock-processing equipment (these designs have been so effective that they now handle one-third of the nation's cattle and hogs). Throughout these essays, Grandin blends personal anecdotes with plainspoken accounts of scientific approaches to autism and methods of treatment, like drug therapy and a ``squeeze machine'' she invented to modify sensory stimulation. Although her prose is uneven, her insights and achievements are astonishing. Ultimately, Grandin finds within science and autism the basis for belief in God, given that her designs, which spring from her powers of visualization, reduce suffering and promote calm in both the animals and herself. Photos. (Nov.)

'Grandin has created a beautifully odd and fascinating picture of her life and mind, and her abiding love of animals' Elle 'A fascinating account of how her mind works in an entirely visual way' Irish Times 'Grandin's window on to the subjective experience of autism is of value to all of us who hope to gain a deeper understanding of the human mind' Washington Times 'It's hard to imagine even an intellect as towering as Sacks's coming up with perceptions as rare and completely out of left field as Grandin herself does in this mind-blowing book' Newsday

In her autobiography, Emergence: Labeled Autistic (LJ 5/15/86), Grandin (animal studies, Colorado State Univ.) related how, as a high-functioning autistic adult, she overcame her disability to become a designer of livestock-handling equipment. Recently profiled in Oliver Sacks's An Anthropologist on Mars (LJ 2/15/95), Grandin also lectures on autism at meetings and conferences. Using insights from scientific studies, autobiographies by autistic adults, and her own experience, she lucidly explains how people with autism differently perceive and process visual and sensory information and experience and express emotions, as well as develop social skills. She reviews diagnosis and treatment of autism, and discusses its association with talent and genius. Throughout the book we learn of Grandin's own strategies for coping with her autism and how autism has given her an advantage in understanding the behavior of other animals. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the subject.‘Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L. Cal.

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