Temple Grandin, fully Mary Temple Grandin

Grandin, fully Mary Temple Grandin

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

Author Quotes

I would never talk just to be social. Now, to sit down with a bunch of engineers and talk about the latest concrete forming systems, that?s really interesting. Talking with animal behaviorists or with someone who likes to sail, that?s interesting. Information is interesting to me. But talking for the sake of talking, I find that quite boring.

I would not be here now if I did not have anti-depressants.

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.

If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.

If I could snap my fingers and be non-autistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.

If I did not have my work, I would not have my life.

I was fascinated with optical illusions.

I think sometimes parents and teachers fail to stretch kids. My mother had a very good sense of how to stretch me just slightly outside my comfort zone. No surprises. You can?t chuck them in the deep end of the pool, that doesn?t work but she kind of just knew, you know, to get me to do things, like serve hors d?oeuvres at my mother?s parties and just bow and shake hands with the guests.

I think that autistic brains tend to be specialized brains. Autistic people tend to be less social. It takes a ton of processor space in the brain to have all the social circuits.

I think the core criterion is the social awkwardness, but the sensory issues are a serious problem in many, many cases of autism and they make it impossible to operate in the environment where you?re supposed to be social. How can you be social if you can?t tolerate those five TVs that are in that bar?

I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.

I use my mind to solve problems and invent things.

I was also struck, when we walked together, by her seeming inability to feel some of the simplest emotions. The mountains are pretty, she said, but they don?t give me a special feeling, the feeling you seem to enjoy ? You look at the brook, the flowers, I see what great pleasure you get out of it. I?m denied that.

I was expected to sit at the table, learn how to eat properly.

I think on the mild end of the spectrum most of its increased detection because I?ve worked with so many folks my age that I know are on the spectrum that are undiagnosed. And I think there?s some mental retardation?what used to be labeled mental retardation? that has gotten labeled autism. But I think there?s some actual severe autism that actually has increased.

I like to cross the divide between the personal world and the scientific world.

I like to figure things out and solve problems.

I obtain great satisfaction out of using my intellect.

I replaced emotional complexity with visual and intellectual complexity. I questioned everything and looked to logic, science, and intellect for answers.

I strongly recommend that students with autism get involved in special interest clubs in some of the areas they naturally excel at. Being with people who share your interests makes socializing easier.

I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher.

I don?t want my thoughts to die with me, I want to have done something. I?m not interested in power, or piles of money. I want to leave something behind. I want to make a positive contribution - know that my life has meaning.

I get great satisfaction out of doing clever things with my mind, but I don?t know what it is like to feel rapturous joy.

I get satisfaction out of seeing stuff that makes real change in the real world. We need a lot more of that and a lot less abstract stuff.

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