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Temple Grandin on the power of visual thinking

Temple Grandin is an autism advocate and professor of animal science at Colorado State University.
Temple Grandin is an autism advocate and professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

Like many people with autism, Temple Grandin thinks in pictures.

In her new book, “Visual Thinking,” Grandin writes that she sees the world “in a series of associated visual images.”

She adds it’s like “scrolling through Google Images or watching the short videos on Instagram or TikTok.”

Albert Einstein was a visual thinker, too. The man whose name has become synonymous with genius was a bad student and didn’t speak until he was 3- or 4-years-old.

Grandin argues that the world undervalues visual thinkers who have a lot to offer. She says that non-visual thinkers can learn from people who see and interpret the world as she does.

She also writes that many kids diagnosed with autism today are not appreciated for their unique talents but rather stymied by their diagnoses. “It’s possible that the most important thing my mother did for me was to not see herself primarily as the mom of a disabled child,” she writes.

Guest host Dessa sits down with Grandin to discuss the gift of thinking in pictures.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Avery Kleinman