“To every individual on the spectrum who believes in finding a sense of
fulfillment and success in life, sometimes against all odds—
May you find valuable information, inspiration, and hope in the pages
of this book.”
These are the heartfelt wishes of Temple Grandin in the dedication of her new and inspiring book, Different…Not Less, which is due to be released soon (and which you can get at the discounted price of $16.96 instead of the $19.95 by using the code HAPPY at check out at Future Horizons.)
Over the past week, whenever I have had a spare moment to read, I have had the privilege of feasting on a pre-release copy of Different…Not Less and, although I am have not read every chapter in the book yet, I have to say that it has been delightful to bite into the many that I have.
In the Publisher’s Note at the beginning of Different…Not Less, Temple Grandin is quoted as saying, “Being on Social Security is NOT a job choice.” I love this statement because I am a big believer that being neurologically different does not mean being unable to embrace individual gifts and to share them with society in a way that can help one make a living.
What I appreciate even more is that in Different…Not Less Temple Grandin hand-selected a cross-section of 14 men and women on the spectrum from different fields (i.e. medical, retail, art, technology, business, etc.), various life situations (i.e married/single/divorced, rural/urban, religious/non-religious upbringings, etc.) and several countries(i.e. the United States, Australia, Scotland and Canada) to evidence that regardless of differing backgrounds, folks with autism can meet similar successes!
Every testimony in Different…Not Less speaks of unique, personal, and sometimes as heartbreaking as they are inspiringm histories of their author’s early years, school years, employment, relationships and more. Yet, they all share a common thread – they chronicle individuals who have used their personal talents and coping strategies not only to deal with social, communication and sensory challenges, but also to find personal satisfaction and success in their lives. This success is not always measured in common terms of wealth, popularity or fame, but seems to be assessed in more significant terms: recognizing self-worth, pursuing individual interests and finding work that “fits”.
After reading many of the stories in Different…Not Less, as well as Temple’s epilogue on how people on the spectrum can succeed with employment, I was struck by how effectively the book works to further Temple’s mission to show those on the spectrum – and those who know and love them – that it is possible to find fulfillment in life. Yes, there are hard times and there will inevitably always continue to be challenges. And, yes, people with autism are “different”, but their sense of personal and life success need not be any “less” than that of other people’s.
As Temple says in her introduction of Different… Not Less, “People on the autism spectrum always keep learning. It is never too late to learn new skills, improve relationships, or learn better work skills.” Through the 14 stories shared in the book, whether you are an adult on the spectrum, or a parent, educator, therapist or employer of a person, young or old, on the spectrum, some of that learning can be had. There are few other resources (if any!) that allow readers to glean insight from a wide array of individuals who have faced the common childhood challenges of autism – diagnosed or undiagnosed – and who now embrace success as adults. In Different…Not Less, you will find no shortage of recognition, inspiration, insights and practical tips from those that have.
Want the book soon?
If you’re interested in being inspired by Different...Not Less by Temple Grandin, pre-order now at the Future Horizons website and don’t forget to input discount code HAPPY to get your copy for $16.96 (instead of the $19.95 retail price) upon checkout, plus 15% off other items you may wish to purchase, including conferences, such as Temple’s one that is coming to the Boston, which I am excited that I might be able to attend.
One Note of Caution to Conservative Readers
The stories in the book are told by a diverse group of folks, thus, adults, I would definitely read through this book yourself before sharing it with teenagers or other impressionable readers. For while all topics in the book are treated with honesty and taste, some might be considered sensitive to certain audiences.