Temple Grandin

by Kyla from Leonardville

      Being diagnosed with autism in the late 1940's was very uncommon in that period of time, yet it still happened to two-year-old, Temple Grandin. Autism was considers a form of brain damage at the time, blamed on Temple's mother; Eustacia Cutler. Very little help was given to Temple, besides recommendations for private and extra speech classes. Though life became very difficult, for Temple, she still persevered and became quite a success. One might ask how a person can still learn with a disability such as autism. Grandin however, used her disability to find her strengths and created more humane treatment for animals such as cattle, pigs and sheep. Although the struggles in her life were not typical, she embraces autism, and against all odds became extremely successful.

      Life for Temple Grandin was very demanding and problematic, beginning in her early years. Temple Grandin finally began to talk at the age of four. It is sad to think however before that Temple's father wanted to send her off to a mental hospital as quick as possible. He's complaints and accusations of how "retarded" and "uncap-able to learn" was very excruciating for Temple. Nonetheless, Temple's Mother was hopeful and admitted Grandin to extensive speech therapy sessions and private classes. School was very burdensome for Temple. Students and peers' teasing became constant and incredibly rude. As you can see, family life, social interactions and emotional health were very difficult aspects in Temple Grandin's lifestyle. (Rachaek Kessler) (Rachaek Kessler)

     Even though Temple grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, she spent a majority of her time out was on her Aunt's farm, West, where she developed an understanding for cattle and other livestock animals. At the farm, she was introduced to cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. It was there when she first began to show interest in cattle, that, she could relate to. She felt more relaxed around them and wanted to help them feel calmer in the chute or when working them. Temple used her creativity to design and build new chutes and curved walkways to ease their stress. She designed a squeeze chute to hold the cattle tightly and the curved walkways, because cattle usually feel better when turning than straight ways. Her main goal: to improve animal welfare and their treatment.It was ultimately reached thanks to her cunning observations and visual-thinking skills.


     Not only did she finish high-school, but Temple also graduated colleges for psychology, and animal science. She received a degree in psychology from Franklin Pierce College. She also earned a master's degree in Animal Science from Arizona St., finally she received a doctorate degree in Animal Science at the University of Illinois. She became very successful in her studies and academics, farther than many other people even aim to accomplish. Her many years in schooling helped her achieve where she is today, and to create many methods of working animals that we still use today.

     Little do you know, Temple Grandin's work applies in your life more than you'd think. Every cheeseburger someone eats, think, that animal went through the most humane way of slaughtering available. It more than likely went through one of Temple Grandin's designs as a new humane concept of working cattle. Yes, Temple had autism, but she faces it and used it to her advantage. Her love for animals and thinking visually brought her to become the very successful woman she is today.

Page created on 2/16/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/16/2014 12:00:00 AM

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

Science - Temple Grandin beating the odds.

Extra Info

 I am Temple Grandin
I love cattle
They calm me and let me know I'm not alone
I am 66
I have autism
I went to colleges after High School
My mother believes in me
There is a movie about me
I am Temple Grandin