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Temple Grandin            

World-Famous Animal Scientist, Autism Self-Advocate & Author of "Thinking in Pictures: My Life With Autism"

Temple Grandin is a world-renowned expert known to many for her trailblazing work as a spokesperson for people with autism and her lifelong work with animal behavior. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare. Her life story was made into the Emmy Award-winning HBO movie "Temple Grandin" starring Claire Danes.

As a child, Grandin was labeled as having brain damage due to her different mental development and special needs. Her mother worked to create a safe and encouraging space for her daughter, along with teachers and special needs experts. Grandin’s mother concluded that her daughter was autistic, although she was not formally diagnosed until well into adulthood. Today, via books, speeches, and her website, Grandin helps the world better understand autism.

When Grandin was in high school, she spent time at an aunt’s cattle ranch and forged what would be a lifelong connection with bovines. The experience inspired her to create the “hug box”, also referred to as a squeeze box, that has become instrumental in helping people with autism as a stress-relieving device. She was inspired by how cattle were calmed down in a squeeze chute using pressure. For decades, Grandin has worked to make livestock handling more humane, implementing welfare animal audit programs for businesses such as McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, and Whole Foods.

Good teachers and mentors were essential for Grandin’s success. Her high school science teacher challenged her with interesting projects where she had to figure out how to make things work. When studying in school became a pathway to becoming a scientist, she was motivated to study. She holds a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois, an M.S. in animal science from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in psychology from Franklin Pierce College.

Grandin has been featured on NPR and in a BBC Special, "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow," and has also appeared on national TV shows such as "Larry King Live," "20/20," and "60 Minutes". Articles about her work have appeared in Time, New York Times, Discover, Forbes (including being named to their "50 Over 50" list in 2023), and USA Today, among other publications. She has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Speech Topics

Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems

Autism Spectrum

Animals Make Us Human

Different Kinds of Minds Contribute to Society


Temple Grandin: Big Meat Supply Chains Are Fragile
When Temple Grandin first started her career as a designer of cattle handling systems in the early 1970s, many smaller packing plants existed. Grandin explains ...
'Temple Grandin' wins big at Emmys. But who is she? | EW.com
As an adult, Grandin became a renowned public advocate for those born on the autistic spectrum. Her high-functioning autism ultimately allowed her to earn a ...
Temple Grandin, Elon Musk And The Interesting Parallels Between ...
Temple Grandin is the first woman from Colorado to be honored by the US Patent Office. Temple Grandin. Denver Post via Getty Images. Autism is defined by the ...

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