Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin


Title:  The Autistic Brain:  Thinking Across the Spectrum

Author:  Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Narrated by:  Andrea Gallo

Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC.

Length: Approximately 8 hours

Source: Checked out with Libby through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

What person would you like to learn more about?  I keep seeing interesting things about Temple Grandin and decided to listen to the audiobook The Autistic Brain to learn more about her and about autism.

The Autistic Brain is a great look into Temple Grandin’s life and her research on autism.    When Temple Grandin was born, autism was first being named and understood.  In this book, she discusses the latest research into autism while explaining her experiences.  I love that she was looking at Amazon reviews of her earlier book in the 1990s and it inspired her to do more research.  The review said not all autistic people think in pictures, which truly astounded Temple Grandin.  She decided she needed to learn more about this and how autistic people think.  She discusses picture-thinkers, pattern-thinkers, and word-fact thinkers.   She still does try to categorize people into these three categories, but I don’t think people can be categorized that neatly.

Grandin takes a fascinating look into possible causes of Autism and various ways it manifests. She talks about brain imagining and genetics, and other studies for possible causes.  It appears to be genetic.  She talks about how there is a very wide spectrum and that the key is it to find the strength of the autistic person and work with them using that strength.  There was also great information and detail about various sensory issues.

 Other interesting tidbits:

-        10% of autistics are savants.

-        Most savants are autistic.

-        Many autistics are good at seeing details, although many can’t see the big picture as they are too focused on the details.

-        Temple Grandin asks autistic people she meets after her talks what their favorite subject is and the most common response is history.

Andrea Gallo was an interesting audiobook narrator.

Great quote: "I've seen these cases--kids who are considered to have severe behavior problems at school until you give them math lessons that meet them where their brains are. Then their behavior normalizes, and they become productive and engaged--maybe even model students."

Overall, if you would like to learn more about autism, this is a great book with a lot of very interesting information. 

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