Autism Unveiled Week 2
I am a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and when I was three, I had no language. My ability in art was always encouraged and my mother put a big emphasis on learning manners and work skills. When I was 13, I had a sewing job and when I was 15, I took care of eight horses. Today half the cattle in the U.S. are handled in equipment I designed.
Temple Grandin, Colorado
Temple is part of the Autism Unveiled Project – 6 weeks of Autism posts commencing on April 2, 2015, World Autism Awareness Day.
Temple, you are such an inspiration to everyone who takes a moment to pay attention to your story. I so appreciate your interest in paying attention to the cattle, their needs, and their behaviors. The idea of not focusing on changing behaviors, but building a relationship really resonates here. If everyone could carry that motto and way of really paying attention in their hearts and minds the world would be a much richer place because of it.
Thank you Temple for sharing your story in so many ways. I have read some of your books and seen a movie depicting events in your life. It has helped me develop a better understanding of autism and how it affects so many families.
Temple, your work inspires me as a young academic to work with empathy, wisdom, and precision. The way you care for others, people and animals, is an example I hope to carry forward. Thanks for all you’ve done for all of us.
I saw a documentary on your life…and I learned from what you wrote about animals communicating. I now agree because I have loved animals since I was aware they existed. I have never been bitten by any animal except a horse trying to tell me to open her pen so she could eat grass in the open field on my farm…I have a no-kill farm of my own in the Philippines, and ducks talk to me and told me there was a big python lurking in the pond by tipping their beaks back and forth pointing literally at the pond. They are usually active and squawking but that day, they were silent, all focused on me, and I realise I could understand them. We caught the python, and unfortunately let it go far from our place, but it came back with several of its siblings to decimate my chickens and geese. Next time the ducks were using their tails to wag and walk back and forth and we caught another python sleeping in the grass near the stables.So I realise now, that animals can communicate using sign language or body movements.
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