Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Now her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes, has been brought to the screen with the HBO full-length film Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes.
Dr. Grandin is a speaker who inspires and motivates others through her story. She 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 institutionalized. She recounts "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book that 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.
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. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift, and others.
In the 2010 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, she was named among those in the "Heroes" category.
She was the subject of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning semi-biographical film Temple Grandin and was profiled in the book Rescuing Ladybugs in 2018.
Dr. Grandin currently works as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and speaks around the world on both autism and cattle handling.
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