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Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Colorado
Photo of Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. At age two, Temple had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974 she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975 she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Temple has done extensive work on the design of handling facilities. Half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonalds, Wendy's International, Burger King and other companies on animal welfare.

Following her Ph.D. research on the effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of pigs, she has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling plus 45 refereed journal articles in addition to several books. Dr. Grandin currently is a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design.

Her book, Animals in Translation was a New York Times best seller and her book Livestock Handling and Transport has a third edition, which was published in 2007. In her latest book, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Temple introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Other popular books authored by Dr. Grandin are Thinking in Pictures, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Animals Make us Human, Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach and The Way I See It.

Dr. Grandin has received numerous awards including the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute, named a Distinguished Alumni at Franklin Pierce College and received honorary doctorates from McGill University, University of Illinois and Duke University. She has also won prestigious industry awards including the Richard L. Knowlton Award from Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine, the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute, the Beef Top 40 industry leaders and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She was also honored in Time Magazine's 2010 "The 100 Most Influential People in the World." In 2011, Temple was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

In 2010, HBO premiered the movie "Temple Grandin," a biopic starring Claire Daines as Dr. Grandin. Chronicling Temple's early life and career with the livestock industry, the movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.

Dr. Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with autism. Articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, National Public Radio, 20/20, The View and the BBC.


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  • The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's
The Autistic Brain Different...Not Less The Way I See It Animals in Translation Thinking in Pictures
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum Different...Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

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