- Just a few weeks old, Dasha the cat found herself in a family with an autistic child. The publication of Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behaviour" turned the household into a research laboratory, with the humans observing Dasha's behaviours and the cat experimenting with the 'human guinea pigs'. The feline perspective provides a new outlook on autism conditions, challenging long established stereotypes and analysing controversies in the field with an unbiased attitude and humour. The text is interspersed with Dasha's 'wisdoms', 'research notes' and definitions of concepts based on her own understanding, such as 'A pet shop is a place where humans come to be adopted by the animals who are brave enough to take a responsibility of looking after them.' Dasha's Journal provides research-based information in an amusing and accessible form and makes serious and complicated issues such as sensory perception, memory, communication, savant skills and challenging behaviours in autism easily understandable for the general reader.
T.O. Daria has worked in the field of autism for more than 20 years. She has a son with autism. In 1999, the family was adopted by a beautiful and very intelligent cat, Dasha, who has become the centre of their academic, pedagogic and practical activities, and in 2008 the first opus by Dasha was published - "Dasha's Journal: A Cat reflects on life, catness and autism". - http://dashasjournal.webs.com/book.htm