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A Thorn in My Pocket is Eustacia Cutler's story of raising her daughter, Temple Grandin, in the conservative Leave-it-to-Beaver world of the fifties, a time when children with autism were routinely diagnosed as "infant schizophrenics" and banished to institutions. She tells of her fight to keep Temple in the mainstream of family, community, and school life, how Temple responded and went on to succeed, as Ms. Cutler puts it, "beyond my wildest dreams." Ms. Cutler also explores the nature of the autism disorder as doctors understand it today, and how its predominant characteristics reflect our own traits in an exaggerated form.