Bestselling author and animal scientist Temple Grandin first made a name for herself with her groundbreaking work designing more humane slaughterhouses. Grandin is autistic, and she says that her autism gives her unique insight into animal behavior. Today, she is also a leading advocate for autistics and was the subject of an Emmy-Award winning HBO film starring Clare Danes. Grandin joins us to discuss her new book “The Autistic Brain.”

Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal behavior at Colorado State University, and author of "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum"

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Being autistic I am interested in her views on the American Psychiatric Association board of trustees changes to diagnostic criteria for autism.

    There are so many things to appreciate about the book, starting with the admission of Dr Grandin that she now knows that not all autistic folks think in pictures. Appreciated her wise advise about the best jobs for Picture Thinkers, Word/Fact Thinkers, and Pattern Thinkers. As well as issues like selling ones work not oneself, and the value of great mentors.

    And thank you for writing about autism and the issue of manners, from knowing the value of holding a door open for the next person, or saying thank you when the salesperson has done good service for you. Knowing when to say please, thank you, and what some would call common courtesies.

    • Marga Riddle

      Agreed! Do you know of other places to see Professor Grandin and get copies of this great book signed on this swing besides the Commonwealth Club? Will she be speaking in East Bay or UC?

  • Douglas Papylom

    Neurological outcomes such as Aspergers and full-on autism evolved because they provided an evolutionary advantage to groups that had such people.

    Aspergers in particular is, in my view, a perfectly normal way of being. Every person I’ve met who was an Aspy seemed quite normal — but just different.

    Society should not be too hasty (or foolish) to term everything a disorder. When everything is deemed to be a disorder, you must realize society has become repressive, and that society has a societal disorder, and that society’s claims about personal disorders are suspect and likely bogus.

    Ask why did these neurological outcomes evolved in the first place. What caused the genes for various forms of autism to proliferate? Did they offer advantages to bands of hunter-gatherers? Did they help early farming communities excel? Did Medieval society require highly focused people e.g. to develop military technologies?

    At the end of the day, men and women with various forms of autism throughout history have found mates and produced offspring, which means they weren’t seen as being abnormal.

  • Teri Marzano

    My granddaughter was born with a massive brain tumor, diagnosed at two months old, and although she doesn’t have autism, she experiences many of the same problems, such as difficulty with recognizing facial cues, verbalization, and delays in general. How does Dr. Grandin’s methods work for those with other types of brain deficiencies, in this case a smiley little 2 1/2 year girl that is essentially missing the left half of her brain?

  • Karen Jensen

    I love hearing Temple, and having heard her speak over the years. I have a daughter, 13, on the Aspy side of the spectrum. She mainly has difficulty with perserverating?OCD, and misreading social cues. So hard at that age with conformity such a pressure. She is lonely and so wants real friends. Does Temple have suggestions on what she’s seen help? We’re doing therapy, social skills group, and anti-anxiety meds already. Go Temple!

  • Victor Quauhtitlatoatzin

    I love Professor Grandin’s voice! She sounds just like Wanda on “Fairly Oddparents”! <3

  • Tony Rocco

    This show dovetails nicely with the show on the DSM V from last week. It demonstrates the folly of pathologizing people in relation to some perceived notion of normality, a notion that is arbitrary and a mere expression of social and cultural norms. Why do we feel such a strong inclination to define people as abnormal in relation to some made-up standard? Why can’t we just let people be themselves without this kind of toxic labeling?


  • Johanna Kapiloff

    Temple is awsome she is such an inspiration to many.

  • tai

    I didn’t quite get the 10 Trait information from a caller? Can anyone fill in the blank & tell me the correct name of the book?

  • Beth Rudolph

    How do we get Temple on the Oprah Super Soul Sunday- she is talking to everyone of us and about everyone of us

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