Temple Grandin, fully Mary Temple Grandin

Temple
Grandin, fully Mary Temple Grandin
1947

American Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Author, Autistic Activist, Consultant to Livestock Industry

Author Quotes

My grandfather was an engineer who invented the automatic pilot for airplanes.

My life is basically my work.

Most important skills taught under age 8. Learning how to take turns. This was taught with a board game. When I got a little older, the whole family played cards. Lessons learned from turn taking in board games can be applied to taking turns doing activities as a family. When the family went to a movie, I had to take turns with my sister picking the movie. Another example would be choosing a restaurant or a store to visit. Saying please and thank you. Shaking hands and greeting people. It was demonstrated like teaching a person in a foreign country how to behave. Mother and teachers demonstrated the correct distance, looking in the eye and the amount of hand pressure. I practiced my skills by being party hostess when my mother invited guests for dinner. Shopping and learning the value of money. I got 50 cents a week to buy things I wanted such as comics, balsa wood toy airplanes, kites, and ice cream bars. These were items that if I wanted them I had to buy them myself. I also had to do all the interactions with the store staff. Mom stayed away when I made my purchases. My favorite toy airplane cost 69 cents so I had to have two weeks of allowance to buy it. Comics were 10 cents and a kite and string was 20 cents. Today these prices would be higher but I learned the value of money from my purchases. I also learned that I had to wait and save to get the 69 cent airplane. My ability in art was always encouraged. My teachers and mother encouraged me to draw many different things.

Most people don't realize that the slaughter plant is much gentler than nature. Animals in the wild die from starvation, predators, or exposure. If I had a choice, I would rather go through a slaughter system than have my guts ripped out by coyotes or lions while I was still conscious. Unfortunately, most people never observe the natural cycle of birth and death. They do not realize that for one living thing to survive, another living thing must die.

Language just gradually came in, one or two stressed words a time. Before then, I would just scream. I couldn?t talk. I couldn?t get my words out. So the only way I could tell someone what I wanted was to scream. If I didn?t want to wear a hat, the only way I knew to communicate was screaming and throwing it on the floor.

Let's get into talking about how autism is similar animal behavior. The thing is I don't think in a language, and animals don't think in a language. It's sensory based thinking, thinking in pictures, thinking in smells, thinking in touches. It's putting these sensory based memories into categories.

Many autistic children like to smell things, and smell may provide more reliable information about their surroundings than either vision or hearing.

Mild autism can give you a genius like Einstein. If you have severe autism, you could remain nonverbal. You don't want people to be on the severe end of the spectrum. But if you got rid of all the autism genetics, you wouldn't have science or art. All you would have is a bunch of social 'yak yaks.'

It is never too late to expand the mind of a person on the autism spectrum.

It?s very important for the parents of young autistic children to encourage them to talk, or for those that don?t talk, to give them a way of communicating, like a picture board, where they can point to a glass of milk, or a jacket if they?re cold, or the bathroom.

It's much more work for the mother of an autistic child to have a job, because working with an autistic child is such a hassle until they go to school.

It's very important for the parents of young autistic children to encourage them to talk, or for those that don't talk, to give them a way of communicating, like a picture board, where they can point to a glass of milk, or a jacket if they're cold, or the bathroom. If they want something, then they need to learn to request that thing.

I've always thought of myself as a cattle-handling specialist, a college professor first; autism is secondary.

I've worked with tons of people that I know who are on the spectrum - but now I think severe autism has really increased.

Language for me narrates the pictures in my mind.

Language for me narrates the pictures in my mind. When I work on designing livestock equipment I can test run that equipment in my head like 3-D virtual reality. In fact, when I was in college I used to think that everybody was able to do that.

I'm a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like Google Images.

I'm a visual thinker, really bad at algebra. There's others that are a pattern thinker. These are the music and math minds. They think in patterns instead of pictures. Then there's another type that's not a visual thinker at all, and they're the ones that memorize all of the sports statistics, all of the weather statistics.

In a noisy place I can?t understand speech, because I cannot screen out the background noise.

In an ideal world the scientist should find a method to prevent the most severe forms of autism but allow the milder forms to survive. After all, the really social people did not invent the first stone spear. It was probably invented by an Aspie who chipped away at rocks while the other people socialized around the campfire. Without autism traits we might still be living in caves.

It hurts because they don't have enough expectations for the kids. I see too many kids who are smart who've graduated, but they're not getting a job because when they were young they didn't learn any work skills," Grandin said. "They've got no life skills. The parent thinks, 'Oh, poor Tommy, he has autism so he doesn't have to learn things like shopping.?

If language naturally evolves to serve the needs of tiny rodents with tiny rodent brains, then what's unique about language isn't the brilliant humans who invented it to communicate high-level abstract thoughts. What's unique about language is that the creatures who develop it are highly vulnerable to being eaten.

If you have autism in the family history, you still vaccinate. Delay it a bit, space them out.

If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see an obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple.

I was so afraid to go out west to my aunt's ranch. But the only choice my mother gave me was to go for two weeks or all summer. I wound up staying all summer. And that's where I learned about cattle. I could relate to their behavior, their fears.

Author Picture
First Name
Temple
Last Name
Grandin, fully Mary Temple Grandin
Birth Date
1947
Bio

American Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Author, Autistic Activist, Consultant to Livestock Industry