Temple Grandin was born in 1947. By age two, her family and doctors knew something was wrong. At that time, there was not even a name for her condition. She didn’t talk, smile, laugh, and was emotionally withdrawn.
Temple’s mother refused to institutionalize her. After two years of speech therapy, she started to talk but still preferred to be alone. Eventually she was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a higher functioning form of autism.
Temple deals with her autism through animals. She feels animals think like her: they are anxious and curious. At one point, she noticed that when cattle were put in a squeeze shoot, it calmed them down. She built one for herself, which calmed her down in the same way. Temple uses it once a week for 20 minutes. She said it gives her a relaxed feeling of being held. The deep pressure touch lowers heart rate and respiration, which gives a big relaxing effect.
After controlling her anxiety, Temple excelled academically. She graduated from grade 12 and went to university, where she got her Masters degree in animal science and now is a doctor in animal science.
You can find a number of videos of interviews and lectures online in which she talks about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Here are a couple of links:
This video is a short interview done by Temple where she talks about her book “The Autistic Brain”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxsv4f5SQE0
If you are interested in hearing her speak at length, this is a one-hour lecture that she gave at the Michigan Theater. You can skip the introduction by starting the video at the 5:20 mark when she starts talking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wt1IY3ffoU
Temple introduces a number of novel ideas about ASD that may prove meaningful to those who are trying to manage ASD.