Friday, April 30, 2010

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

I found out from Page Turners that April is Autism Awareness Month, and their challenge was to, "Read and Review a book...dealing with ASD or learning disabilities or by an author who has been diagnosed." This gave me a great excuse to pull "Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior" out of my to-be-read pile, which deals with ASD and is written by an author who has been diagnosed, Temple Grandin.

I really liked getting inside Temple's brain through her writing. She definitely has a fascinating and unique mind. I think it's cool that she took what could have been an obstacle and turned it into a career. Thanks to her and her autistic brain, McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC use humane slaughtering practices on the animals we eat.

Overall I didn't learn as much about autism from this book as I thought I would since it was probably 90% about animal brains and 10% about autistic brains. Still I found some very interesting factoids about animals that I had to read aloud to Corey because I knew he'd think about them all day at work. One was, "A Chihuahua never advances past the wolf puppy equivalent of twenty days of age..." which startled me because Corey always says Captain Skippyjon Jones is like a permanent puppy.

And because I used to have goats I liked reading these 3 sentences and learning a new phrase to describe them: Locomotor play is the pretend chasing and jumping-and-spinning play a young animal does when it's alone. (If you want to see locomotor play, watch a goat. They are the biggest jumpers and spinners ever.)

The final bit of information I had to share with Corey was that there is evidence to suggest that dogs and people coevolved! You should read the book if you want to find out what scientists discovered in dog brains and people brains from 10,000 years ago. Corey says he may want to skim through the book now too.


Avid Reader said...

I recently saw the HBO movie about her and it was fascinating!

Luvvie said...

Right...I've ordered it from the library and will let you know what I think.....

Pixie said...

Great Review. I don't have your email address. Please email me at to claim your prize. Thanks for participating.