Have you ever asked yourself what kind of thinker you are? Are you visual, kinesthetic, auditory, or verbal?
Visual thinkers include anyone from object visualizers with a knack for design and problem-solving to those with a more mathematical bent, who excel at pattern recognition and systematic thinking.
Visual thinkers make up a much larger population than previously believed, but we live in a world full of languages. This sidelines visual thinking, sorts them out at school, and overtakes them at work.
Temple Grandin wants to change that perception and help others see the benefits of the pictorial thinker.
Whether by changing the way we think about autism or through her research on animal behavior, Temple Grandin never stopped tracking and advancing research on what moves the mind. As a result, she has become a voice for visual thinking in professional and popular circles.
her best-selling memoir think in pictures (later turned into an award-winning biographical film starring Claire Danes) set out to explore neurodiversity, transforming scientific inquiry and public understanding.
In her latest book, visual thinking, She reconstructs the conversation again. She shows us the way forward in her mission to discover how people think and change our understanding of how our brains are wired.
A Pioneer in the Autism Community
Grandin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. When she was 2 years old, she couldn’t speak her language and was showing all the signs of her autism. Luckily, her mother ignored her doctor’s advice and kept her away from her facility. Instead, she sought help elsewhere. After years of therapy, intensive education, and tutoring by a high school science teacher, she learned to speak and embarked on a career as a scientist, author, groundbreaking animal advocate, and livestock equipment designer. opened the way for
when the movie temple grandin Released in 2010, it introduced the world to this amazing journey. Ms. Grandin quickly became an unlikely hero to neurodiverse people everywhere. Especially as a parent of a neurodiverse child who was diagnosed with autism in 2012, this film is comforting in showing how someone with autism can turn their unique talents into a successful career. I was.
Visual thinkers and hidden talents
“When I was in my 20s, I didn’t know what other people were thinking in words,” explains Grandin. “I thought everyone thought in pictures. And when I wrote think in pictures Originally, I thought that all autistic people think in pictures. And after reading a review of the book, I started thinking about the people I met. Autistic people’s thinking was found to fall into her three categories: visual thinkers/logical thinkers and musical/mathematical thinkers. “
In the latest issue released in October 2022, Visual thinking: The Hidden Talent of People Thinking in Photography, Patterns and Abstractionshe uses cutting-edge research to take us into the world of visual thinking, reconstructing neurodiverse conversations and how different types of thinkers influence our world. It shows what to do.
For example, there is a common misconception that people with autism automatically excel in careers as IT, coding, or developers.
“IT is the mathematical spirit,” she said. “The mistake being made is that it is only one-third of neurodiverse people. You do not understand our mechanics. , photographers and anything that has to do with working with animals.I also have a lot of interest in pasture rotation and regenerative agriculture.We visual thinkers are good at it too.Their third Only one of the can run computer root.”
Why Neurodivergent Employees Benefit Companies
At conservative estimates, about 50,000 to 60,000 people with autism turn 18 each year. Although they graduated from high school and are ready to go to college and pursue a career, four of her 10 adults with autism have been diagnosed with I don’t work for wages.
Grandin feels that it is not enough for employers to know that neurodiverse individuals simply exist.
“The first thing they should know is that they don’t care what kind of company it is, but there are different kinds of mindsets,” Grandin explained. did a Zoom call with a major bank, they hired some verbally autistic people to sell their financial products, so your “word thinkers” who love sports stats etc. , with the greatest success in highly specialized sales. “They knew all the details of each car, their financial instruments, their professional business insurance. It’s where you are.”
People with autism have a wealth of talent, creativity and know-how, and countless industries could benefit from their contributions and innovations. Discovering talent and supporting efforts to excel.
“I say to companies, a lot of HR people will be very social thinkers,” Grandin said. “I was just talking to an airline and they said, ‘That super good mechanic? He said, therefore, that these people show Work to people who appreciate that work. For example, show your IT department computer code they can run, or show your photography or design work to someone who likes it. Or if you’re a mechanic, show us the beautiful engine he worked on. Show it to his director of maintenance. These people are not super social and should be presented to maintenance rather than HR. “
There are many reasons to consider hiring neurodiverse individuals. For example, a 2018 study by Accenture, AAPD, and Disability found that of the companies they surveyed, they employ people on the spectrum. These companies achieved, on average, 28% higher revenue, doubled net profit and 30% higher economic profit. Margin compared to other companies for the same sample.
Additionally, the Harvard Business Review endorses hiring people with autism as a competitive advantage. The result, they say, is improved morale, better products and services, increased productivity, and ultimately higher revenue.
Advice for Parents and People with Autism
A commonly shared statistic is that 85% of people with autism are unemployed. But Grandin sees this exclusion from the workforce as a more recent development.
“I always have my grandfather come to me and tell me they’re on the spectrum. They tend to figure it out when their kids are diagnosed,” she said. “The difference is that I believe my grandfather grew up with tools. They grew up with a paper route and learned to work. They grew up shopping at school and fixing cars, that’s the way they do it.With mechanical things like mine, kids are exposed to it. No. They’re not fixing cars right now. I know two people. One has autism and the other doesn’t.”
For these reasons, Grandin encourages exposure to hands-on work that connects to the unique skills and thought processes of children with autism.
“One of the big problems today is that too many children are labeled as autistic,” says Grandin. “They haven’t learned their language skills. I also see their parents holding them back. I’ve seen her 16-year-old who is completely verbal and never goes shopping on her own.” I know.”
“I tell my parents, I know the paper pathways may be gone, but I’ve been doing church volunteer work, farmer’s markets, walking dogs and making things for others. , learn about cars, etc. Avoid chaotic work to avoid hyper-multitasking horrors!”
All in all, whether you’re a business leader, parent, or educator, or just want to better understand the people around you, visual thinking It aims to show that when we fail to encourage and develop the talents and skills of people with different mindsets, we fail to believe in integrating learning methods and benefiting and enriching society. increase.