'An extraordinary source of inspiration for autistic children, their parents - and all people' Time
It's estimated that one in almost a hundred people are diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum but there is far more hope for them today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research.
In this fascinating and highly readable book, Temple Grandin offers her own experience as an autistic person alongside remarkable new discoveries about the autistic brain, as well as genetic research. She also highlights long-ignored sensory problems as well as the need to treat autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting of all, she argues that raising and educating children on the autistic spectrum needs to be less about focusing on their weaknesses, and more about fostering their unique contributions.
If you want to know why an autistic person acts the way he or she does, "you have to go beyond" behavior and "into his or her brain," according to Grandin (Thinking in Pictures) and science writer Panek (The 4% Universe). Since 1987, when Grandin, a noted Colorado State University animal science professor, became "one of the first autistic subjects to undergo" an MRI, she has taken multiple "journey to the center of mind" in the hope that neuroimaging technologies will lead to a better understanding of autism. "From the start, medical professionals didn't know what to do with autism. Was the source of these behaviors biological, or was it psychological?" Now, 70 years after Johns Hopkins University M.D. Leo Kanner gave the first diagnosis, researchers are making huge strides. The authors urge parents, teachers, and society to focus on the strengths of autistics, and they devise a "three-ways-of-thinking model" by pictures, patterns, or words/facts to foster change in schools and the workplace. Grandin's particular skill is her remarkable ability to make sense of autistics' experiences, enabling readers to see "the world through an autistic person's jumble of neuron misfires," and she offers hope that one day, autism will be considered not according to some diagnostic manual, but to the individual. Illus.