About Temple Grandin
Dr. Grandin didn't talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalised. She tells her story of "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.
Dr. Grandin has become a prominent author and speaker on the subject of autism because "I have read enough to know that there are still many parents, and yes, professionals too, who believe that 'once autistic, always autistic.' This dictum has meant sad and sorry lives for many children diagnosed, as I was in early life, as autistic. To these people, it is incomprehensible that the characteristics of autism can be modified and controlled. However, I feel strongly that I am living proof that they can" (from Emergence: Labeled Autistic).
Even though she was considered "weird" in her young school years, she eventually found a mentor, who recognized her interests and abilities. Dr. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world.
Temple Grandin is now one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world. Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes has been brought to the screen. She has been featured in major television programs, such as the BBC special "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow", and has also been written about a great deal.
Temple was recently named one of the Time Magazine 100 most Influential people in the world. She was recognized for her work as a world-famous animal scientist and autism self-advocate. The list, now in its seventh year, recognizes the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world's most influential individuals. The author of the article, a professor at Harvard University, writes:
"What do neurologists, cattle, and McDonald's have in common? They all owe a great deal to one woman...Temple Grandin….an extraordinary source of inspiration for autistic children, their parents—and all people."
Dr. Grandin presently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also speaks around the world on both autism and cattle handling.