The Autistic Brain: Exploring the strength of a different kind of mind


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Temple Grandin is one of the most accomplished adults with autism in the world. Her parents were told she should be institutionalised but, today, she is a university professor and bestselling author, rightly celebrated for transforming attitudes towards autism.

In this groundbreaking book, Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science including remarkable discoveries about the brain and the latest genetic research. In her view we need to treat autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis.

It’s estimated that one in almost a hundred people are diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum but there is far more hope for them today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research.

In this fascinating and highly readable book, Temple Grandin offers her own experience as an autistic person alongside remarkable new discoveries about the autistic brain, as well as genetic research. She also highlights long-ignored sensory problems as well as the need to treat autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting of all, she argues that raising and educating children on the autistic spectrum needs to be less about focusing on their weaknesses, and more about fostering their unique contributions. Autism can be turned into a gift, not a disability.


  • Prologue
  • The Autistic Brain
  • 1. The meanings of autism
  • 2. Lighting up the Autistic Brain
  • 3. Sequencing the Autistic Brain
  • 4. Hiding and seeking
  • Rethinking the Autistic Brain
  • 5. Looking past the labels
  • 6. Knowing your own strengths
  • 7. Rethinking in pictures
  • 8. From the margins to the mainstream
  • Appendix: the AQ test
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Author Bio:

Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and the author of several bestselling books, which have sold more than a million copies. The film based on her life received seven Emmy Awards. Richard Panek is the co-writer of this book. He’s the prize-winning author of The 4 Percent Universe and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in science writing. His books have been translated into sixteen languages.


“Grandin has helped us understand autism…. as a different but coherent mode of existence that otherwise confounds us” – New York Times.

“The Autistic Brain can both enlighten readers with little exposure to autism and offer hope and compassion to those who live with the condition” – Scientific American

Winner of ‘best Non Fiction’ in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013