Monday, March 7, 2011
Celebrating Women's History Month
Dr. Temple Grandin
The thing that usually amazes people most about prolific woman inventor Dr. Temple Grandin is not all the great strides she has made to improve animal-handling devices, nor the fact that she earned a Ph.D in animal science and became a world-renowned teacher and speaker. Instead, what usually amazes people most about Dr. Temple Grandin is that she accomplished all this while living with autism.
Born in 1947, she did not use speech to communicate until she was nearly five years old. Through the determination of her mother, she went to a normal school though at the time such children were often placed in mental institutions. Autism was thought to be a psychological problem, not a biological or neurologic disorder, causing the child to focus inward and to ignore or reject outside stimuli. It was thought that there was no bridging the gap between the autistic child and the world. After a barrage of therapy and with great difficulty, Grandin managed to graduate from high school. She had spent time on a ranch and had become fascinated with animal behavior after long sessions of watching the cowmen work with the herds. She earned a B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire, an M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University, and a Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois. Today she teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare. In addition, she writes widely about autism and her life experiences and efforts to live a functional, purposeful life.
The Temple Grandin Movie: Life Story of Dr. Grandin an autistic woman who over came all sorts of obstacles to rise through academia and finally achieve a Ph.D. She is animal expert and an engineer. She sees in pictures and has a photographic memory.