Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Autistic Brain - Temple Grandin

**** Please note that I do not receive any commissions of any sort for the book that is mentioned in this post. It is simply a book that I have found useful. ****

I've just finished reading "The Autistic Brain" which is written by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek.

Oh my, what an in-depth, fascinating and very informative read.

If you haven't heard of Temple Grandin, she is arguably one of the most accomplished adults with Autism in the world. She is a professor of animal science at the Colorado State University and the University openly calls her "the most accomplished and well known adult with autism in the world."

If you haven't watched one of her TED talks, you really should. Temple didn't speak until she was three and a half years old, she communicated her frustration by screaming, peeping and humming. After receiving the diagnosis of Autism, her parents were told that they should institutionalize her, but they didn't. Temple is also an outspoken Autism advocate.

In "The Autistic Brain," Temple reports on some of the groundbreaking research that is being done around the world on Autism. She writes about her own experiences and discusses the remarkable new discoveries that are being made about the autistic brain.

These new discoveries are being made through the use of neuroimaging and genetic research and are beginning to link brain science to behaviour. Temple shares images of her own brain scans, and there are multiple scans to view.

The results of the new research that she shares are absolutely fascinating. Some of the results are showing that where pathways in autistic brains are lacking, other pathways have compensated and have doubled or tripled in size.

Temple also highlights the importance of needing more research into the long-ignored sensory problems and how they affect individuals with Autism.

One of the points that Temple discusses throughout the book is that parents and educators who are raising and educating children who are on the autism spectrum, should be focusing on the child's overlooked strengths rather than on their weaknesses. If all of society did this, then wouldn't there be a huge shift in how Autism is viewed.

There were several passages in the book that stood out but one in particular leapt right off the page at me - "for me, autism is secondary."

Temple goes on to say that Autism is certainly a part of her but she will not allow her Autism to define her.

This is exactly what I have been explaining to people about my little superheroes - that their autism and anxiety is a part of who they are but it in no way defines them. It makes me incredibly happy that other individuals with autism have the same view.

If you have an interest in the neurological side of Autism and the current scientific research that is being conducted, this is the book for you!

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