The just-released, updated, and expanded book by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron offers insights on how two successful people with very different personalities, both born with autism,earned their most critical lessons on how to deal with unwritten rules of social relationships.
Rule #1: Rules are not absolute. They are situation-based and people-based
Rule #2: Not everything is equally important in the grand scheme of things
Rule #3: Everyone in the world makes mistakes. It doesn't have to ruin your day
Rule #4: Honesty is different than diplomacy
Rule #5: Being polite is appropriate in any situation
Rule #6: Not everyone who is nice to me is my friend
Rule #7: People act differently in public than they do in private
Rule #8: Know when you're turning people off
Rule #9: Fitting in is often tied to looking and sounding like you fit in
Rule # 10: People are responsible for their own behaviors
Temple's logical mind controlled her social behavior. She interacted with many adults and other children, experiencing varied social situations. Logic informed her decision to obey social rules and avoid unpleasant consequences. Sean's emotions controlled his behavior. Baffled by social rules, isolated and friendless, he made up his own, and applied them to others. When they inevitably broke his rules, he felt worthless and unloved.
Both Temple and Sean ultimately came to terms with the social world and found their places in it. Whether you are a person with autism, a caregiver in the autism community, or just someone interested in an outsider view of society, their powerful stories will enthrall and enlighten you.
Temple Grandin, one of the most respected individuals with high-functioning autism in the world, earned her PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois, and became an associate professor at Colorado State University. She presents at conferences nationwide, helping thousands of parents and professionals understand how to help individuals with autism, Asperger's syndrome, and PDD. The author of many books on autism as well as animal management, she among the most celebrated and effective animal advocates on the planet.
Sean Barron is an interesting and intelligent man who has faced the challenges of being on the autism spectrum; it's difficult now to realize that he once was deeply impacted by autism/Asperger's syndrome. A graduate of Youngstown State University, Sean works as a reporter for the Youngstown Vindicator and holds multiple degrees (his latest degree is in journalism) and is a freelance writer. Sean co-authored There's A Boy in Here with his mother, Judy Barron.
Veronica Zysk has been working in the field of autism since 1991. She served as executive director of the Autism Society of America from 1991-1996. She was the visionary for the first national magazine on autism spectrum disorders, the Autism Asperger's Digest.
425 pages. 2017