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Part 2 : People with autism who inspire us


Mary Temple Grandin was born on 29th August, 1947, in Boston Massachusetts.  As a child, she was never formally diagnosed having Autism. When she was around 2 yrs of age, doctors had diagnosed her with “brain damage”. The medical advice for the condition was institutionalization at that time. Her mother sought out alternative methods of treatment.

Temple Grandin, underwent Speech Therapy from an early age. This helped and she started speaking around age 3 and half. She studied Human Psychology in Franklin Pierce College in 1970. Further she studied Animal Science and earned a Master’s Degree from Arizona State University, in 1975. Finally, in 1989, she completed her doctoral studies in Animal Science, from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She is a proponent of ethical treatment of animals. She is also known for her speeches on Autism, internationally, even though she was formally diagnosed with Autism at 40 yrs of age. Based on personal experience, she advocates early intervention. She believes, a supportive teacher can help a child with autism not only learn but achieve goals. She also supports Applied Behaviour Analysis as a treatment for severely autistic kids. Growing up, she was interested in horse riding, movies, science fiction and biochemistry.

She became a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2009. She was included in Time 100 list, of 100 most influential people in the “Heroes” category. Many books and articles have been written about her. An HBO movie “Temple Grandin”, starring Claire Danes has even won 7 Emmy awards.

Oliver Sacks wrote a book, An Anthropologist on Mars in the year 1995. The book was so named because Temple Grandin famously said that around neurotypical people she felt like she was from another planet.

 images courtesy: Temple Grandin
Posted in Autism on March 07 at 12:29 PM

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