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AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF TEMPLE GRANDIN

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by Lisa Chung

Related: temple grandin meatpacking industry, autism and extraordinary ability, autism heroes, extraordinary stories of kids with autism,


A new book by best-selling author Sy Montgomery tells the inspirational story of Temple Grandin, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and a passionate advocate for autism.

Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010 for revolutionizing the livestock industry and being a passionate advocate for autism, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., 64, hates the roar of motorcycles and avoids places like sports bars because “they’re so loud.” She wears her signature button-down cowboy shirts over a well-worn T-shirt and doesn’t wear dresses because she “can’t stand” the feeling of her legs rubbing together.

temple grandin

“Temple’s life shows us the courage and creativity of a person who found the blessings of autism—the blessings of a different kind of brain that, along with its challenges, may also bring extraordinary gifts,” writes Sy Montgomery in “Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World” ($17.99; bn.com)

As best-selling author Sy Montgomery writes in Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, “Autism does not go away.” Instead, the biography—written for children ages 9-12—reveals that autism gives Dr. Grandin the gift to visualize accurate pictures and the ability to manipulate them in her head—an essential skill when redesigning livestock facilities. (It is, after all, thanks to Dr. Grandin’s designs that half the cattle in the U.S. are handled in these cruelty-free facilities.)

In the foreword written by Temple, she shares that she was “one of those kids who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd,” and recognizes that “there are many kids like me, with various labels such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. What saved me…were my love of making things and creating art.” In hopes of inspiring kids on the spectrum to find and follow their own passions, Temple also writes seven pieces of advice, including “Geeking out!”, working for others, and focusing on strengths: “There’s too much emphasis on deficit and not enough emphasis on building up the area of strength.”

Meet Temple Grandin and author Sy Montgomery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at Barnes & Noble (150 E. 86th St.) at 7pm on May 7, 2012.

 


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