For many people, Life within the autism spectrum is emotionally and psychologically crippling, yet Temple Grandin has not only survived, but thrived. As a woman who thinks in pictures she has been able to design humane cattle-handling facilities. As she talks about her autistic disorder, consider why it is called a spectrum disorder.

Why you should listen:

With the diagnosis of autism on the rise, Temple Grandin is able to illuminate this often misunderstood syndrome. Well known for her work within the autistic community, she is an acknowledged leader in the animal rights world. Time magazine selected her as one of the most important people of the year in 2010. Her life story has been made into an award winning HBO movie.

Who is she:

She has championed animal rights and autism and has become a voice for those who are sometimes challenged to make themselves heard.
Her books her own life as an autistic person have increased the world’s understanding of the condition.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the autism spectrum? Where would she fall?
2. What does she experience when she “thinks in pictures”?
3. What can be learned from her experience with the microphone?
4. What is bottom up thinking?
5. What does she recommend that TED do?
6. What would she suggest for autistic children?

Connecting to the real world: Autistic Woman’s story Is Emmy Gold with ABC News

The world needs all kinds of minds with Temple Grandin


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