Book Review: The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's, by Temple Grandin

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger'sThe Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's by Temple Grandin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of Professor Grandin ever since I saw her on 60 Minutes several years ago. I recently watched the HBO film "Temple Grandin" and became even more interested in her life and her work on behalf of people on the Autism Spectrum.

The Way I See It is a compilation of articles Temple Grandin has written over the course of several years. The descriptions she gives of the various forms of Autism, and how they effect behavior is eye-opening. She talks about the way she "thinks in pictures" and how her upbringing in the 1950s was beneficial to her because even with her autism, her mother expected her to behave a certain way, and revoked privileges if she didn't meet expectations, which taught her how to behave in public, in turn making it easier for her to hold a job and be around people. She decries the "loose" upbringing of the children of today, and how low expectations can handicap children with Autism.

Prof. Grandin also discusses sensory sensitivity, hygiene issues, higher maths, and includes a wonderful chapter on non-verbal Autistic people. She discusses the use of medicines, explaining that she has been on the same low-dose anti-depressant for over 30 years and how it has helped her to cope with the world. She encourages parents to enroll children with autism in Community College rather than endure the "torture chamber" of high school. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?    You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.”

I came away from the book with an even greater admiration for this incredible woman.

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