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

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.

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.

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