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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The movers and the shakers.

Image can be found

Given that April is Autism Awareness month, I thought it would be nice to do a little segment on famous people with Autism. Some are high Functioning some have Asperger, and some are just on the spectrum.

Today's high light goes to
Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is a doctor of animal sciences and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry in animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

Grandin was born in Boston, MA, to Richard Grandin and Eustacia Cutler. She was diagnosed as autistic in 1950. Having been labeled and diagnosed with brain damage at the age of two, she was placed in a structured nursery school with what she considers to have been good teachers. Grandin's mother spoke to a doctor who suggested speech therapy, and she hired a nanny who spent hours playing turn-based games with Grandin and her sister.

At age four, Grandin began talking, and she began making progress. She considers herself lucky to have had supportive mentors from primary school onwards. However, Grandin has said that middle school, and high school were the worst parts of her life. She was the "nerdy kid," the one whom everyone teased and picked on. She would be walking down the street and people would say "tape recorder," because she would repeat things over and over again. Grandin states that "I could laugh about it now, but back then it really hurt."

After graduating from Hampshire County School, a boarding school for gifted children in Rindge, NH in 1966, Grandin went on to earn her bachelor's degree in psycology from Franklin Pierce College also located in Rindge) in 1970, her master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University, in 1975, and her doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1989.

All of the above information can be found, and was copied from here.

Temple went on to have one of the greatest achievement in the livestock industry. She realized that the treatment of cattle at the slaughter yards was to stressful on the animals. She invented what was known as weeping curved corrals, which helped lower the stress level of the animals being lead to slaughter. She was quotes as saying: "I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect." —Temple Grandin. Her hard work towards the respect for animals up for slaughter, were proved to be time and money saving investments.

As a mother with a daughter who is a high functioning autistic, here is one of those stories that gives me hope that my daughter can be any thing that she puts her heart to.

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