Dr. Temple Grandin, PhD, (born 1947) is an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry and an outspoken advocate of other humans on the spectrum. Temple grew up in a time when very little was known about autism, but due to her mother’s insistence that she receive a good education regardless of her diagnosed “brain damage,” and with the help of understanding mentors, she went on to receive degrees in psychology and animal science. Temple compares her thinking process and memory to ‘movies’ in that can be replayed in her head at will, allowing her to notice small details that would otherwise be overlooked. This has helped her empathetic work with animals as she has advocated for more humane treatment of livestock. She understands the anxiety of being overstimulated by her surroundings, and even invented a ‘hug machine’ to be used with autistic children in need of calming as well as animals in stressful situations. Temple has become one of the most well-known and respected speakers on autism awareness as well as animal welfare, and she is still going strong!
“Autism is an important part of who I am, and I wouldn’t want to change it, because I LIKE the way I think.” —Temple Grandin