Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD

Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD

by Temple Grandin, Tony Attwood

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935274605
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 04/16/2012
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 485,945
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

Grandin is listed in the 2010 TIME 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the category “Heroes”

Tony Attwood (born 9 February 1952,Birmingham, England) is an English Psychologist who lives in Queensland, Australia and is an author of several bestselling books on Asperger's Syndrome.  He speaks on autism and Asperger's Syndrome around the world.

His book, Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals has now been translated into 20 languages.

Attwood also has a clinical practice at his diagnostic and treatment clinic for children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, in Brisbane, begun in 1992.

Read an Excerpt

Different, Not Less

Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD
By Temple Grandin

Future Horizons

Copyright © 2012 Temple Grandin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781935274605

The people in this book have had their difficulties—especially in the area of relationships. For some of these individuals, this arena has been more difficult than employment. One of the reasons why they sought out a diagnosis was their difficulty with relationships. For most individuals on the spectrum, the road to successful employment started with teenage jobs, such as paper routes. Having a paper route taught the basic work skills of being on time and having to do it every day. Today, the paper routes are mostly gone, but a good modern substitute for a young Aspie is dog walking. Like a paper route, it has to be done every day. Other good jobs for teenagers on the spectrum would be fixing computers, making PowerPoint presentations, maintaining and updating Web sites, working in a farmer’s market, writing for the church or community newsletter, selling art, or helping an elderly neighbor.

When I was a teenager, I did hand-sewing for a seamstress, cleaned horse stalls, built carpentry projects, and painted signs. The crucial skill that has to be learned is how to do work that is assigned by other people. In my design work, I often had to modify my designs to either fit the building site or satisfy some whim of the client. There are some people on the spectrum who can get hired easily by showing a portfolio of artwork or programming code. However, they cannot keep a job because they do not get assigned work done. They are either rigid and inflexible in modifying a project to satisfy the boss, or they refuse to do work that is outside their area of interest. When kids do jobs in middle and high school, it teaches them valuable work skills, such as flexibility and doing assigned tasks. If a teenager is creating a Web page for a real-estate office, he will learn that he cannot decorate it with science-fiction characters. When I made signs as a teenager, I did not paint horses on a sign for a beauty shop. I had to learn how to do work that other people wanted.

Recently, I had a lady walk up to me in the airport and say, “Your book, Thinking in Pictures, saved my marriage. Now I understand my engineer husband, and we are able to work things out.”

Each contributor in this book has a unique story, and my intent is that their stories will provide hope and insight to individuals on the spectrum, as well as parents, teachers, and professionals.

People on the autism spectrum always keep learning. It is never too late to learn new skills, improve relationships, or learn better work skills. To grow, a person on the spectrum has to “stretch.” Stretching is a good analogy, because sudden surprises cause fear. Even individuals my age can learn new skills. When I was writing this introduction, I talked to a family member of a woman in her 60s who has autism. Within the past year, she discovered that the way she dressed herself improved her life, and now she enjoys nicer clothes. The mind of the person with autism can always keep learning. It is never too late to change. A person on the spectrum needs an employer, spouse, or friend who will calmly coach him when he makes social mistakes. He has to be instructed on how to behave, like a character in a play. In my own life, I have gained great insight from reading the writings of other individuals on the spectrum.


- Dr Temple Grandin



Continues...

Excerpted from Different, Not Less by Temple Grandin Copyright © 2012 by Temple Grandin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Note 1

Foreword Dr Tony Attwood 3

Introduction Dr Temple Grandin 5

Chapter 1 Charli Devnet: Tour Guide and Lover of History 13

Chapter 2 Stephen Shore: Special-Education Professor and Autism Advocate 43

Chapter 3 Anna Magdalena Christianson: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner 73

Chapter 4 Karla Fisher: Senior Program Manager for Intel and Successful "Techie" 99

Chapter 5 Moppy Hamilton: Mother of Two and Retail Employee 141

Chapter 6 Steve Selpal: Freelance Artist Who Found Success through Art 159

Chapter 7 Anita Lesko: Nurse Anesthetist and Aviation Writer 183

Chapter 8 Wendy Lawson: Psychologist 209

Chapter 9 Neil McRae: Veterinary Surgeon in Scotland 231

Chapter 10 Kim Davies: Successful Physician 249

Chapter 11 Robert Cooper: Owner of a Computer Server Design and Support Firm 269

Chapter 12 Leonora Gregory-Collura: Autism Outreach Consultant and Dancer/Choreographer 293

Chapter 13 Sean Jackson: Successful Real-Estate Executive 321

Chapter 14 Stewart Forge: Partner and Creative Director of an Advertising Agency 357

Temple's Epilogue 379

A Note from Temple about the DSM 391

Further Reading 393

Index 397

About the Author 407

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This is an inspiring book. The stories of achievement will be encouraging for parents of a young child with an autism spectrum disorder and will be especially inspirational for adolescents and young adults who are feeling despondent that autism could deprive them of a successful career or relationship. This book has antidepressant qualities to rival those of medication.

Dr. Tony Attwood

Interviews

Recently, I had a lady walk up to me in the airport and say, “Your book, Thinking in Pictures, saved my marriage. Now I understand my engineer husband, and we are able to work things out.”

Each contributor in this book has a unique story, and my intent is that their stories will provide hope and insight to individuals on the spectrum, as well as parents, teachers, and professionals.

People on the autism spectrum always keep learning. It is never too late to learn new skills, improve relationships, or learn better work skills. To grow, a person on the spectrum has to “stretch.” Stretching is a good analogy, because sudden surprises cause fear. Even individuals my age can learn new skills. When I was writing this introduction, I talked to a family member of a woman in her 60s who has autism. Within the past year, she discovered that the way she dressed herself improved her life, and now she enjoys nicer clothes. The mind of the person with autism can always keep learning. It is never too late to change. A person on the spectrum needs an employer, spouse, or friend who will calmly coach him when he makes social mistakes. He has to be instructed on how to behave, like a character in a play. In my own life, I have gained great insight from reading the writings of other individuals on the spectrum.

- Dr Temple Grandin

Customer Reviews

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Different, Not Less: Ultimate Success Stories from People with Autism and Asperger's 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
FCTOM More than 1 year ago
The book would be good for a teen or perhaps even a young adult on the spectrum to show them what others have been able to achieve in their lives. That said as a 50 something highly functioning adult on the spectrum I found the book depressing as the people in the book have achieved such high professional levels of achievement something I have never been able to come close to doing.
dickmanikowski on LibraryThing 7 months ago
As an Aspie (I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome nearly 10 years ago in my mid-50's) and a big fan of Temple Grandin, I was excited to run across this book. It presents self-portraits of over a dozen adults on various places along the autism spectrum. While the extent of their impairment varies considerably, all are functioning and employed.I was disappointed with the book, but that may better reflect my high hopes for it than any shortcomings in the book. The participants were working from a template; consequently, their chapters are highly selective portraits of their past and current lives rather than rounded memoirs. But people who have questions about life on the spectrum will find a lot of hope in these stories. Each of the persons had to find their own places in life, often through painful trial and error. Almost all of them, however, eventually established satisfying careers and a network of support persons to nurture and mentor them. (The exception is a woman who has always worked as a retail sales clerk and never enjoyed her jobs.)They also represent a variety of life situations. Some are married. Some are divorced. Some have kids. And some (like me) are loners and happy in their self-selected solitude. That doesn't mean they're entirely socially isolated, just that they (I) enjoy living alone.I found the most valuable parts of the book to be Dr. Grandin's closing advice on career advice to be very informative. It's not relevant to me now that I'm retired, but I can see how I pretty much lucked into my own rewarding career in libraries.She also voices some concerns about the proposed changes to the DSM-V (scheduled for publication in 2013) in diagnoses and diagnostic criteria for persons on the spectrum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories in this book represent a fairly wide range of experiences for people with Autism, Asperger's and ADHD.   Some of the individuals had happy, if mostly isolated childhoods, others struggled well into adulthood and some were still struggling (see Moppy's chapter). Some of the writers have had remarkable journeys and careers as they learned about themselves and what their gifts and talents are.  Not all of the writers immediately embraced their late diagnoses, however as Karla Fisher puts it, she came to realize it gave her a "framework…to understand her health and determine her quality of life". There were times I did need to put the book down because the difficulties were palpable and raw. However, I liked the way each contributor broke their stories into sections, and particularly appreciated the sections on mentors and life lessons, which hopefully readers can use to see what helped others succeed and navigate a world where they so often feel different. Temple makes some great points in the epilogue, where she states that it concerns her that young people who have autism now too often fixate on their autism, when they would be better off cultivating their special interests. She also states her point of view about the elimination of Asperger's Syndrome in the recent changes to the DSM-V in her final note. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous reviewer: for those of us discovering our autism/Asperger's late in life, it is perhaps too late to start over. We tried our best, stumbling around in the dark, but a rather large number are trapped in poverty and disability, maybe even wards of the states without rights.  We have gifts, even advanced degrees, sometimes many advanced degrees, but scratch out an existence dependent on family or SS disability. So, yes, this book can add to our already large burden of guilt and failure. But for parents and for young girls and young women, it is NOT too late. So, for you, this may help inspire and guide you. For others, not necessarily. Good luck.