More than half the cattle in Colorado, the United States, and Canada dwell in humane livestock-handling facilities designed by Colorado State University (CSU) animal sciences professor Temple Grandin. In addition to being a world-renowned animal scientist, consultant, author, inventor, lecturer, and designer of livestock-handling facilities, Grandin is also a leading specialist and lecturer on autism spectrum disorder, a brain condition that she herself has had since birth. Believing that autistic and other special-needs people are “different, not less,” Grandin has identified special abilities and helped decode the thinking processes of both humans and animals.
Grandin’s extraordinary relationship with animals began with horses when she was a girl. During summers on her aunt’s cattle ranch, Grandin’s interactions with farm animals taught her lifelong coping skills that helped her overcome difficulties in communicating with people. For example, she invented a machine for calming herself that resembled squeezing systems used to calm cattle during branding. Her mother and aunt pushed her to develop her special talents despite the conventional wisdom in the early 1960s that autistic people could not lead mainstream lives.
Grandin has shared her vast expertise in livestock handling in hundreds of industry publications, book chapters, technical papers, and scholarly journal articles. Her best-selling Animals in Translation is one of seven books she has authored on animal behavior and autism. Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism describes her unique thinking process, which is based more on visual images than on words and language. Grandin argues that many animals share this perspective, enabling her to foster practical approaches to human-animal interactions that have revolutionized the cattle-handling industry.
Grandin generously supports graduate students at CSU and offers individual advice to young people on a daily basis. Time magazine listed her as one of its 100 most influential people in 2010, and the national media have interviewed her extensively, including on 60 Minutes, in The Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio. As a female trailblazer in an all-male industry, Grandin has used her well-known reputation to help others break through barriers of sexism and prejudice against persons with autism and bring about a fresh appreciation for all people.
Books by Temple Grandin:
Animals in Transition
Animals make us Human
Thinking in Pictures
The Autistic Brain
Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships
The Way I See It
Making Animals Happy
Animal Welfare and Meat Science
Interpreter a Los Animales
Humane Livestock Handling
Livestock Handling and Transport
Temple Talks about Autism and Sensory Issues
Careers – Opportunity for Growth
Medications – Fact or Fiction
Temple Explains Sensory Issues To You
Animals Make us Human : Creating the Best Life for Animals
Developing Talents” Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism