The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s by Temple Grandin, PhD

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s by Temple Grandin, PhD

What a wonderful weekend!  I spent most of it with Temple Grandin or should I say reading her latest book The Way I See It – Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s. I had previously read some of Dr. Grandin’s articles in the Autism Asperger’s Digest With this book, made up of a selection of her articles for the award winning Autism Asperger’s Digest, I could sit back and thoroughly immerse myself in her remarkable journey through life all the while learning a lot about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s syndrome (AS). What is new in this revised edition?

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s by Temple Grandi, PhD

  • Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition
  • Fourteen New Articles
  • Foreword by Executive Producer, Emily Gerson Saines
  • Includes foreword to First Edition by Dr. Ruth Sullivan
  • Finalist in the Benjamin Franklin Award, ibpa
  • Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award Winner
  • Silver Independant Publisher Book Award, IP

What an amazing accomplishment on the part of her parents, the professionals, caregivers and friends who helped her and on Temple herself to have overcome or learned to cope with many of her challenges caused by autism. Readers will rejoice and be filled with hope for their own loved ones with autism or Asperger’s as they read Temple’s story on how she was motivated to forge ahead and adapt. It is inspiring how this non-verbal four year old, born in 1947, diagnosed with autism in 1950, has emerge as a world renowned lecturer and one of the autism community’s most beloved success stories respected by all.

My weekend reading session of The Way I See It felt like relaxing with a trusted friend who is exactly my age. She had me hooked in her first pages describing her childhood to Dr. Tony Attwood in an account of their interview entitled “Tony & Temple: Face to Face”.  I was totally engaged chapter after chapter, only stopping now and then to excitedly share yet another amazing anecdote with my husband.

Autism and Asperger’s – Daily Challenges

Temple Grandin explains that for many individuals on the spectrum,  their primary, daily challenges are sensory issues and auditory problems are the #1. For some people with ASD, severe sensory sensitivity can literally wreck their lives!  When senses are disordered, the attention and concentration that learning requires becomes difficult and in some cases, impossible. This revelation should prompt more scientific research on sensory processing disorder (SPD) and on finding methods of treatment.  Sensory Challenges and Answers DVD describes the sensory challenges Dr. Grandin has faced and offers no-nonsense ideas for caregivers and for individuals on the spectrum.

This easy-to-read book is a helpful guide or resource, but Dr. Grandin’s down-to-earth way of writing makes it also very interesting for all readers who value being in- the- know about important issues facing our society. The detailed titles of her nine chapters and many subtitles as well as her comprehensive index facilitate the search for specific answers. This book belongs on the shelves of homes, teachers’ and Therapists’ resource rooms and libraries everywhere.

Temple has a clear mandate for parents and the public education system.  Their responsibility is preparing children to be independent adults by teaching them how to be flexible thinkers, to be social thinkers, to understand group dynamics, and be prepared to transition into adult life.

When I say The Way I See It will benefit and interest many, let me prove it with these passages:

  • About Early Intervention: “Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. It will take less practice to change an inappropriate behaviour at age two… same behaviour at age seven.”
  • About jobs: “Most individuals on the spectrum have areas of strength that can be nurtured and developed into marketable employment skills.”
  • About learning: “Parents and teachers can use a child’s special interests or natural talents in creative ways to teach basic academic skills…”
  • About teaching: “The best teachers have a flexible approach and teach to the style through which each child learns.”
  • About non-verbal  individuals with autism:” It’s their bodies that don’t work, not their minds.”
  • About behavior problems: “Once the correct motivator (medical problem, sensory issues) has been found, a solution can be developed.”
  • About routines: “Consistency is calming, surprises produce anxiety…”
  • About manners: “To be members of a group, we must learn the rules and act in socially appropriate ways.”
  • About Aspies: “Aspies have great memories, pay attention to details, are persistent, focused, and love structure.”
  • About a cure: “ Preventing severe autism would be a worthy goal, but preventing mild autism and Asperger’s would be a grave mistake… world would lose many creative people who have made the world a much more interesting place.”

Emily Gerson Saines, Executive Producer of the HBO movie Temple Grandin stated: “This book is insightful, helpful, and hopeful—just like the woman who wrote it! It is a ‘how-to’ guide that I am confident will leave any reader feeling both informed and inspired.” The following are some of Temple’s hopeful messages for parents:

  • As long as you’re good at what you do, being eccentric is often overlooked and accepted by others.
  • Parents and teachers can lay the groundwork for a child’s later success in life by exposing the child to many new experiences.
  • The same genes that produce his Asperger’s may have given the child the capacity to become one of the truly great minds of his generation.

All who involve themselves with people with autism and Asperger’s will want to read this book.  They will enjoy learning about Temple Grandin’s childhood, her education, her skilled livestock facility designs that give her work and satisfaction,  her daily challenges with autism, her remarkable success as an autism advocate, college professor, conference presenter and most of all her shining example of perseverance.

Quick Look at Temple Grandin:

  • Born August 29, 1947 in Boston Massachussets to Richard Grandin and Eustacia Cutler.
  • Diagnosed with Autism in 1950.
  • Thought to have brain damage at age two.
  • Placed early in a structured nursery school.
  • Started speaking at age four and was making progess.
  • Had supportive network while growing up.
  • Was the “nerdy, bullied kid” in middle and high school.
  • Graduated from a boarding school for gifted children in 1966.
  • Earned a bachelors degree in psycology in 1970.
  • Received her masters in animal science in 1075
  • Earned her doctoral degree in animal science in 1989.

Follow Dr. Temple Grandin:

Buy Different . . . Not Less  Amazon.com  Amazon.ca   Future Horizons, Inc

Read our review of   Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger’s, and ADHD

Buy The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s   Amazon.com   Amazon.ca   Future Horizons, Inc.

See Also: Infographic – Dr. Temple Grandin: A Special Breed of Hero

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
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