For some pet people this is old news, but not for everyone! If you have any interest in fascinating people, people who have found animal inspiration to work through problems or people on the autism spectrum, you'll find this information useful.
I found out about Temple Grandin while staying in a hotel that happened to have HBO and I saw a movie with Claire Danes that looked good so I plopped on a pillow and watched. I was amazed at that acting but more struck by the true story. Due to mental illness and autism in my family I've always been intrigued by stories that involved difficult physical, mental or psychiatric disorders.
Temple Grandin was unable to speak until she was five years old and doctors had written her off as a toddler with severe disabilities. They told her mother that she would never be able to speak normally or to live without 24 hour care from other people. They recommended an institution.
I'll leave out some of this story for those of you who haven't seen the movie, but by the time Temple was a young adult she had already defied the odds in enormous ways. This was partly due to the perseverance of her mother who ignored the doctors and worked with Temple for hours every day. We know now that Temple was on the severe end of the autism scale. She once stayed on a farm with family and she identified closely with the cattle since she saw that they were also spooked by too much sensory input.
I've avoided calling her Dr. Grandin to this point because it's part of her still-unfolding story today. I will say that she now travels the world to speak to people about the humane treatment of cattle, other animals and about autism. She is a spokesperson for Autism Speaks. If you haven't seen the movie lately or at all, check it out, it's worth it:
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