The book, “The Way I See It” by Temple Grandin PH.D., is especially interesting, since the author has had her place on “the spectrum”, having autism since birth. Autism is a developmental disorder with different degrees of strengths and challenges. Individuals who are very close to the same place on the spectrum may react with very different levels of severity. Every person with autism is unique and that is why it is referred to as a spectrum disorder. The issues can range from problems of being nonverbal and challenges, that can include self-injurious behaviors and mental challenges, to the higher functioning level known as Asperger’s Syndrome. At the higher level of the spectrum people are often extremely intelligent and have expressive language skills.
Grandin says that she does not think in words but instead retrieves images from memory. She says she lacks social intuition and relies on logic to guide her behavior. She is a professor of animal behavior and well-known designer of livestock equipment. She credits her autism to her success in understanding animals.
The original title for this book was A Cow's Eye View and it was her observation of cattle's reactions in squeeze chutes that led her to design a squeeze machine that she uses daily to calm her anxieties. Her work with animals is fascinating and the book profiles much of her work.
A summary of the topics that the book looks at: 1.How and Why People with Autism Think Differently. 2. Economical Early Intervention Programs that Work. 3. How Sensitivities Affect Learning. 4. Behaviors Caused by a Disability vs Just Bad Behavior. 5. Teaching People with Autism to Live in an Unpredictable World. 6. Employment Ideas for Adults with Autism.
The book is not just interesting, it is helpful. If you read it you will likely find yourself looking for others books that Temple Grandin has written as I did.