Thinking in pictures – with Temple Grandin


Several years ago, I had the opportunity to see Temple Grandin speak, and then meet her afterwards. I was star struck, to be honest. To me, she is a goddess in the Autism world, because A. she has Autism and B. it feels like she gives you a guided tour of her brain and how it works. It was amazing!

Temple thinks in pictures.

When she speaks, she holds cards in her hands, that one would suspect that she has all of her notes/topics written all over them. That is quite the opposite. Her cards have pictures on them. For example, one card had a picture of her favorite cow on it. This picture reminded her to talk about how when she was a little girl, her mother used to make her get dressed up for church on Sunday’s, and the wool tights that she was made to wear, felt like spikes and nails on her legs.

The typical mind doesn’t think in pictures. It thinks in words, memories, and the 5 senses. For example, if someone mentions a certain restaurant, and your last experience there was a negative one, you’ll most likely remember the bad service, or your food being under or over cooked, or maybe getting sick afterwards. Hence, you’ll probably never go back to that restaurant again. If you thought in pictures, you’d most likely remember the cat you saw in the parking lot, hiding under a parked car with a rusty bumper.

Does that make sense?

When I got meet her after the conference, I found her to be fascinating, and yet a tad awkward. But her attitude and her tenacity completely shined over the fact that social situations make her feel uncomfortable. And you know what? A lot of people feel that way too. She is not alone.

So, I found a conference to share that was similar to the one that I attended. Please take the entire 20 minutes (if you can) and really watch and listen to what she has to say. It’s incredible and amazing, and remember… she has Autism. She has learned how to cope and work with her Autism, and shares her thinking style with others. To me… that is one incredible gift!

Enjoy the video

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