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During her childhood, Grandin desperately needed affection, and at the same time she feared human contact. On account having autism, she could not experience and feel the world like other children could feel and experience. She was "quick to anger, easily overstimulate, and isolated". However, she had a sense of resilience to emerge from her inner world. Emergence is her story of that emergence, of how she went from a fear-gripped autistic childhood to become a successful professional, a world leader in her field. An astonishing true story, a chronicle of perseverance, courage, and the loving wisdom of a few adults who saw in Temple what others couldn't, EMERGENCE will give new hope and new insight into the tragedy of autism and the vast potential of human spirit."
Oliver Sacks has commented about Emergence: Labeled Autistic in these words: "In 1986, a quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable book was published, Temple Grandin's Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Unprecedented because there had never before been an 'inside narrative' of autism; unthinkable because it had been medical dogma for forty years or more that there was no 'inside,' no inner life, in the autistic. . .extraordinary because of its extreme (and strange) directness and clarity. Temple Grandin's voice came from a place which had never had a voice. . .and she spoke not only for herself, but for thousands of others. . ." These words truly commend the book and its usefulness for the laymen as well as for the professionals interested in autism and related issues.
Around 175-page book is structured into 18 sections and chapters:
- Childhood Memories
- Early School Days
- New Worries
- Forgettable Days at Junior High
- Boarding School
- The Door
- The Magic Device
- Through the Little Door
- Graduate School and the Glass Door Barrier
- Through the Sliding Glass Door
- Working - Coping - Surviving
- Autistics and the Real World
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C