Even after being published for more than 25 years, Thinking in Pictures remains one of the most well-known books written from an autistic perspective. I had little to no clue about the inner workings of an autistic person’s mind and TIP was very enlightening.
I learned that different forms of autism have different advantages and disadvantages. In some ways, as with Gradin’s extraordinarily accurate visualization skills, autism seems to be almost some sort of super power. It has enabled her to become the world’s leading expert on slaughterhouse design–something that seems so cringeworthy, yet on second thought, is also so important.
Grandin is the self-labeled “Lady that Thinks like a Cow.” Her autism has given her the unique ability to separate thought from emotion and thus see the world from a cow’s perspective. This has been extremely beneficial to the meat-processing industry because it calms the animals before death–making their last moments peaceful rather than terrifying.
The book seems to vacillate between her contributions to the cattle of world and how autism has affected her life. She is clearly a brilliant person, but the outline of the book seemed a bit scattered, and honestly I would’ve liked to know more about her personal life rather than her cow-friendly design-work. She has a completely different publication devoted specifically to cattle and I feel she could’ve shared the information in there rather than in her memoir.
Because I felt it was equally enlightening but slightly off-topic, I’ll give it…
3 cattle chutes of 5