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Autism, Sensitivity, Understanding and Genius
on 19 January 2008
This is a book about autism and the author's struggle for acceptance, education and fulfilment, as a world authority on the humane handling of livestock. As the title suggests, the book offers a fascinating insight into Grandin's idiosyncratic way of thinking, which is both enthralling and sometimes amusing. It might offer guidance for those attempting to manage autism and explanations as to what autism is for the curious. It explains how it affects the lives of those who are identified as autistic, from Kanner's to Asperger's. And, whether from the descriptions of the physiology of the condition or the biography, there emerges important philosophical questions about different ways of being in the world. It offers inspiration in the author's description of the way she manages her condition, and might offer others encouragement and inspiration in managing their own physiological or psychological disadvantage. Autism, it seems, covers a wide spectrum and it is very amusing, as you can't help noticing autistic traits, in the personalities of many so-called 'normal' people. It seems impossible not to conclude that the existance of autism is a precious gift for the progress and creativity of mankind, and from the perspective of an autistic person, normal society shows itself to be a very cruel and rejecting entity indeed. Grandin comes across as a very likeable and compassionate person and my admiration of her is unstinting. I am very glad that she took the trouble to write this book. I liked it very much.