Maggie Shaw’s Book of the Month | March 2021

Hi there, Maggie Shaw here, proud owner of Eregendal and author. 

As a lifelong lover of reading, each month I choose one of my favorite books- and tell you all about it!

For March’s Book of the Month I have chosen Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin (1995, 2006).

This wonderful book was recommended to me by a Quaker who works with non-neurotypical people, soon after my late diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2018. Reading it was like a revelation to me, with its positive take on autism and its encouragement to concentrate on autistic strengths, rather than deficiencies.

 

Thinking in Pictures is a collection of autobiographical essays by Temple Grandin, exploring her form of autism through different stages of her development and work. 

 

As a child, Grandin’s teachers told her parents that she should be institutionalised. Yet, with appropriate education, Grandin was able to forge a career designing more humane cattle chutes, through her ability to visualise the structures, and her understanding of the cattle using them. 

 

Over time, Grandin overcame all obstacles to become a university professor and bestselling author. Her books and work are helping to transform attitudes towards autism.

 

This book helped me understand how I think in pictures too. It encouraged me to look at my abilities and concentrate on them. Instead of bemoaning my weaknesses as the failures my parents thought them to be, this book helped me to accept that darker side of myself- those parts of my past unsocial behaviour caused by my ASD. After reading the book, I began to celebrate my uniqueness and find gratitude for my different perspective.

 

This is a great read for anyone trying to understand autistic behaviour, whether their own or others’. 

 

For those seeking a deeper analysis or additional reading on this subject, the follow-up book, The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek (2014) is also excellent.

 

So there we have it, March’s Book of the Month! Be sure to check back in April as I’ll be revealing another must read. 

 

Take care,

 

Maggie x 

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