Temple Grandin is an author, advocate, inventor, speaker, consultant in addition to teaching at Colorado State University. She also has autism.
Dr. Gradin was born in 1947 in Massachusetts. She was labeled as being brain damaged at the age of two and diagnosed with autism at the age of three. At the advice of a doctor, her parents hired a speech pathologist, enrolled her in a structured nursery school, and hired a nanny to work on social skills.
She graduated from Hampshire Country School for gifted children in New Hampshire in 1966. She eventually earned her doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois in 1989.
After being described in a book written by Oliver Sacks, she was asked to speak about her experiences as an autistic individual by Ruth C. Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan was one of the founders of the Autism Society of America.
Since then, Dr. Grandin has drawn a large audience whenever she speaks. She is able to explain the behavior of autistic people first hand to parents and other caregivers. Since then, she has become a highly sought after speaker. In addition to speaking at the Autism Society of America conferences, she has also appeared on many television programs like Larry King Live. She’s also been written about in many magazines and newspapers. In 2006, the BBC did a documentary on Dr. Grandin. She was also the subject of a three hour interview series on C-SPAN. The series was entitled “In Depth with Temple Grandin.”
An HBO movie about her life was released in 2010. The film was nominated in 15 different categories at the Emmy Awards. The film ended up receiving five awards and Grandin came on stage briefly to speak to the audience during the ceremony. Not only was the event a special one for her because of the success of the film, but the ceremony also happened to be held on her birthday.
Due to her experiences, Dr. Grandin encourages early intervention programs for autistic children. In addition to a structured program, she also feels that supportive teachers are a necessity.
Although she is successful in professionally and academically, Dr. Grandin says that emotional relationships just are not for her. She has never married and does not have children.
She has learned to adapt her life around her sensory integration disorders by wearing comfortable clothing and structuring her day and life in order to avoid things that could cause sensory issues. She still takes anti-depressants, but she has been able to stop using a squeeze box she invented in order to help her cope with sensory overload issues.
Although autism affects every part of her daily life, she asserts that she would not change a thing, even if given the chance to do so. Being autistic is simply a part of who she is. Because of these views, and because she feels that neurodiversity is an important concept, Dr. Grandin claims that she can not support a cure of autistic spectrum disorders.
To learn more abo Temple Grandin, go to http://www.templegrandin.com/