Animal Science professor Temple Grandin (Colorado State University) rose to public awareness - and fame - through the gift of her autism. Her brain wiring is considered a "handicap" in our culture, but it allows her to empathize in deep ways with the feelings of animals (Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior). Her ability to see in pictures allowed her to help redesign cattle yards to reduce the fear the animals experience, and she still works as a consultant to the cattle industry.
In this Google Talk she speaks more about her other passion, neurodiversity - she does not, for example, support interventions that would eliminate the entire autism spectrum.
At the bottom I have also included another talk she gave at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.
Different Kind of Minds - Temple Grandin
There are many different kinds of minds and, when they work together, they can really complement each other. Temple is a visual thinker who thinks in photo realistic pictures. This has helped her in her design work. Another type of mind is the mathematical mind. This kind of mind is really good at computer programming and engineering. The third type of mind is a verbal word thinker. Temple will discuss successful projects where the different kinds of minds worked together and a few disasters that could have been prevented by input from more than one type of mind.
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My Experience with Autism
Tune in for this unusual presentation on autism by someone with autism. Animal Science professor Temple Grandin, who designs livestock handling facilities, discusses the value of early intervention in autism, and about medications. Other topics include her sensory sensitivities and how she manages them, how she and other autistic people think, and social relationships and careers. Series: "M.I.N.D. Institute Lecture Series on Neurodevelopmental Disorders"