In "Emergence" Temple Grandin gives a good overview of her life from toddler through to the beginning of middle age. She describes well how her autism affected her perception, understanding, and emotions, and how she learned, with the help of a very engaged mother and later a very caring teacher, to adapt to a neurotypical world. Particularly fascinating is her description of how she learned to use her autistic viewpoint to understand not only the mental processes of other human beings but also the perceptions and thought processes of animals.
She is an inspiring woman who has turned her autism, a condition people usually think of as a disability, into what is essentially a powerful set of alternative mental and psychological thinking engines, and used it to build an impressive career as one of the most successful designers of humane livestock handling systems in the World, as a Professor of Animal Science, as a best-selling writer, and as an activist for the rights of people on the autistic spectrum.
I have given this book four stars for two reasons: 1) although it is an enlightening and engaging read it's rather short and 2) it would benefit from the introduction of more descriptions of Grandin's intensely visual thinking style and of how she developed her other visualisation talents, and of her autistic thinking styles in general.
Grandin's book "Thinking in Pictures" describes her visual thinking skills in depth and detail, and makes a very good companion to "Emergence" - if you buy one book I would recommend you buy the other with it. Perhaps one day she will integrate them into a unified five star book.
As the ex-Partner and present good friend of a woman who is high-functioning autistic with visualisation skills similar to Temple Grandin's, and as a middle aged man awaiting assessment for the condition myself I have found this book and others by Temple Grandin particularly helpful.
Some of the terminology in this book seemed awkward and anachronistic, until one looks back and realises it was written nearly 20 years ago, and was unique in its time. Temple Grandin refers to herself as a "recovered autistic person" - but I don't think you do "recover" as such - not like getting over the measles - autism is with you for life? However, apart from that 'niggle' I think the book is brilliant. It even starts out with a very simple & straightforward description of autism : "a defect in the systems which process incoming sensory information causes the child to over-react to some stimuli and under-react to others". So succinct & clear. Temple appears to have had some tremendous Love & Support from her Family & some of her Teachers, but enough mishaps occur along the way to give others warnings about what to watch out for. I also liked her concluding chapters, some updated in the mid-1990's and still valid today, when she gives advice regarding fixations, observation, food allergies, and most importantly, the role of drug-based treatments. There have been many autistic biographies since this one, but I can understand the impact it had when it was first published. I wish I had read it when it first came out.
To really see expresed the insight of an autistic person from her inner voice, makes of it the most impressive document I`ve ever read on autism, and a very inteligent approach to this phenomenon. It also helps parents to draw a true picture of an autistic being and how to pay effective help to him.
This astonishing book gives you a rare look into the world of autism through the first hand account of the author Temple Grandin, who is herself autistic. One of the few books I've encountered on this subject that actually gave me some real insight on how it feels to be "labeled autistic". If you've ever wondered how it's like to walk in the shoes of a person afflicted with this condition, this is the book to read.
I was really amazed how Dr. Temple Grandin grew up through this book. First time I saw her presentation on autism/Asperger's(a/A) over the net, I doubted she still has a/A because she spoke so articulately and confidently. Although I hear she seems hypersensitive to loud noises and itches caused by new clothes, I could see she has overcome some of the autistic traits such as quick-tempered behavior, temper tantrum, and any other symptoms she used to have in her childhood and teens. This is, I would say, mainly because her mother and her mentors supported her in order to help her acquire her social skills like Temple said in this book. I began to understand why she became so confident when reading Lorna King's message to Temple on p.147. In short, she wasn't an impressive speaker right from the start. It sounds real wordy or verbose, but those who understand Temple see carefully how she has changed better.
Another thing that amazed me was the squeeze machine. I still have little idea how she came up with this, but it seems to help visual thinkers like her reduce a lot of stress and anxiety. I think the main reason is that visual thinkers get it intuitively instead of by verbal explanation.
After all, I would like Auties/Aspies and those dealing with them to buckle down to Emergence whether or not you are familiar with animal science which Temple majors in.
After working with 2 autistic girls, one of which wanted to be like Temple, I had to read her books, partly so I could understand and partly out of curiosity. After reading Emergence, it has changed my understanding and helped me to make an impact on the lives of atleast 2 girls. Thank you Temple.
My 15yr old daughter was diagnosed as having Aspergers Autism last year. So much of this book was relevant to us and to her it was amazing. I read it, saying, yes, yes, yes, that's her!! I recommend it to any parent or professional who is working with an autistic child in whatever capacity. Remember, they walk to the beat of a different drummer, allow them that, and accept them for who they are.......God does.
This autobiography is amazing, giving tremendous hope to people who have had the devastating news that a person they love, has been diagnosed with the autism spectrum. Temple Grandin is very articulate in describing her life, and shows how she herself turned a huge negative into a very awesome positive, using her Exceptional Talents and even Obsessions into a helpful and highly skilled career, as well as becoming a much needed author on this difficult subject. Thanks Ms Grandin!!!