Temple Grandin

by Kobie from Riley

Temple Grandin being with the animals she loves. ( (Rosalie Winard))
Temple Grandin being with the animals she loves. ( (Rosalie Winard))

Growing up as a silent unresponsive toddler her parents knew she was different. Ordinary situations in the later days like a new pair of socks and underwear scratched like sandpaper and a new wool hat would be compared to your head caught in a vise. At age of 5, she began to speak but not in sentences. She spat out words like "no", "mine", and "ice." No one understood her, no one understood the feelings she was feeling inside and no one even thought she had a brain inside her head. Her own father would scream and yell at her that she was retarded and had no brain, not understanding his words but the rage and volume of his voice would immediately send her to tears and tantrums. Loud noises hurt her ears. Her father wanted to send her away to a mental hospital. She never laughed or even smiled when tickled. She hated hugs and resisted cuddles young babies love. Temple Grandin is an inspiration to all because of her life overcoming autism, new ways of thinking, and her pursuit of understanding autism herself.

At age 3, Temple was diagnosed with autism. Every person is different so therefore autism affects people in different ways. Some feel that the world never makes sense, never make friends, or never even speak. Others may be the nerdy, geeky kids who grow up to achieve many great things. Each form of autism is different, some milder or more severe than others. Temple felt ashamed or even assaulted by her own sensory system. She never knew why she was different, her ears, eyes, and nose felt fine, but the information carried to her brain was like a gambled mess. Kids with autism have their own ways of dealing with painful noises, confusing words, and overwhelming sensations. Temple would twirl for hours on end. This would send her into her own world pushing out any confusion or frustration she may feel. Temple saw things in pictures; she had a very imaginative mind. Temple's story is far more than overcoming a disability; her life shows us the courage and creativity of a person the blessing of having autism.

Changing the world one animal at a time. ( ())
Changing the world one animal at a time. ( ())

Temple Grandin thought in a way that other people wouldn't understand. Temple has told us that animals do have emotions. For example, cattle don't think in a verbal language. Cattle use pictures and mental remembrances and connect then with what feeling they felt at that certain time. Autistic people can think in the way animals think as well, a swirling mass of tiny details. Both feel, see, and hear all the things no one else can. Temple also told us that cattle are sensory-based thinkers. In other words cattle feel in a way humans do not. Their memories and thoughts are in only pictures. Specific individual sounds are matched with individual pictures. Good persons voices versus a bad persons voice are also remembered. One of Temple's biggest discoveries is the squeeze machine. The year of 1965, when Temple was only 18 years old she designed and constructed a machine that squeezed the side's together and put pressure on most parts of the cows body. She discovered at the relatives ranch that when the cattle were forced through the squeeze chute they instantly calmed. Temple found that autistic people and cattle's mind worked the same.

Autism affects each person differently. Autism is usually early in their childhood, it doesn't develop as you are growing up. Many kids with autism are very bright and extremely smart but they lack in their social skills. Some kids never show any speech impediment but others start speaking later, some may never speak at all. Common signs of autism are repetitive behavior such as flapping of the hands, rocking the body, spinning in circles, and repeating words or phrases over and over again. People with autism often avoid looking others in the eyes and have trouble reading social signs. Temper tantrums are very common even in older people. Kids are very highly interested in dinosaurs, trains, or cartoon characters. Many of the autistic people in the world have high IQ's. The autism spectrum ranges from quirky, nerdy, gifted kids to the nonverbal people with severe disabilities. Although there is no cure for autism, one on one help can slowly help their behavior and social skills. Autistic people are no different than anyone else, they just think in different ways.

To achieve this unpredicted success, Temple used one of the strengths of autism: Temple thinks visually just as animals do. Because being autistic has its good and bads, Temple took control and embraced her autism for the greater good. Because Temple also thinks in pictures she can relate to a cow's, pig's, or even chicken's point of view. Temple taught us that even those animals who feed us deserve to be handled with the utmost respect and be handled properly. Temple will always be remembered as the lady that gave animals a voice. She has devoted her whole life, and still does today, to the proper treatment of animals. Temple Grandin is an inspiration to all because of her life overcoming autism, new ways of thinking, and her pursuit of understanding autism herself. This is a story of how the girl who loved cows, embraced autism and changed the world.

Page created on 4/15/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/20/2019 2:35:59 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Morton Co Soil Conservation District - My hero changed the life of animals.
Science for the Curious - Discover - My hero embraced autism and changed the world.

Extra Info

I am Temple Grandin
I have autism
I didn't let that stop me
I love animals
My father called me retarded
He didn't want me
I have changed the world
I found cattle have the mentaltiy of autistic people
Animals saved me
I am Temple Grandin