Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

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Synopsis

Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation speaks in the clear voice of a woman who emerged from the other side of autism, bringing with her an extraordinary message about how animals think and feel.

Temple's professional training as an animal scientist and her history as a person with autism have given her a perspective like that of no other expert in the field. Standing at the intersection of autism and animals, she offers unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas about both.

Autistic people can often think the way animals think -- in fact, Grandin and co-author Catherine Johnson see autism as a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans -- putting autistic people in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Temple is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. Not only are animals much smarter than anyone ever imagined, in some cases animals are out-and-out brilliant.

The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense, merging an animal scientist's thirty years of study with her keen perceptions as a person with autism -- Temple sees what others cannot.

Among its provocative ideas, the book:



argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness -- and that animals do have consciousness

applies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity" to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they "can't see the forest for the trees" -- a talent as well as a "deficit"

explores the "interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them -- a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearly

explains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal genius

compares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even see

examines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future

reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals

maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid



Temple Grandin is like no other author on the subject of animals because of her training and because of her autism: understanding animals is in her blood and in her bones.
 

About Temple Grandin

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TEMPLE GRANDIN is one of the world's most accomplished and well-known adults with autism. She is a professor at Colorado State University and the author of several best-selling books, which have sold more than a million copies. The HBO movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes, received seven Emmy Awards. CATHERINE JOHNSON, Ph.D., is a writer specializing in neuropsychiatry and the brain. She cowrote Animals in Translation and served as a trustee of the National Alliance for Autism Research for seven years. She lives with her husband and three sons-two of whom have autism-in New York.
 
Published July 23, 2009 by Scribner. 368 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Professional & Technical, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Animals in Translation

The New York Times

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Temple Grandin’s “Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior” (2004) occupies a special place among the animal books of the last few decades.

Jan 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

The Guardian

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Assuming you're happy with the neuroscientist's elementary analysis of animal being, all you have to do with a wild animal or your pet pooch is enhance its seeking behaviour and reduce whatever might make it feel rage, fear or panic.

May 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

The Guardian

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Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behaviour by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson 368pp, Bloomsbury, £16.99 This magisterial book on animal behaviour is unique and, for me, is gripping reading.

Jun 25 2005 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

The Guardian

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Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson Bloomsbury, £8.99 There are two prevalent attitudes to linguistic communication with animals.

May 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

Publishers Weekly

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Grandin (Thinking in Pictures ) and Johnson (coauthor of Shadow Syndromes ) deploy a simple, lucid style to synthesize a vast amount of research in neurology, cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, supplementing it with Grandin's firsthand observations of animal behavior and her own exper...

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BC Books

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Grandin's basic thesis is that her autistic brain functions similarly to that of animals, which allows her to think the way animals do.

Apr 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

Examiner

In her no less brilliant follow-up, Animals Make Us Human, the author explains how we can create the best life for animals in our care.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

Entertainment Weekly

Neurology has Oliver Sacks, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Temple Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts (and the foremost designer of humane slaughterhouses).

Dec 22 2004 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

https://bookpage.com

Grandin's book, written for the non-scientist, will appeal to anyone with an interest in animals from pet owners to ranchers to animal rights activists.

Apr 21 2016 | Read Full Review of Animals in Translation: Using...

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