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Who Is Temple Grandin?

HBO’s Temple Grandin was nominated for 15 Emmy Awards last night, and wound up being one of the biggest winners of the evening! Claire Danes took home the trophy for Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries for her portrayal of Grandin, leaving many people curious as to who exactly Temple Grandin is.

Temple Grandin was recently named a “Hero” of 2010 in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  If the title of hero didn’t create a big enough buzz about her, then the Emmys certainly will!

Temple Grandin is a PhD, and is one of the most well known speakers and authors on the subject of autism.  She has made countless efforts to raise awareness about the often misunderstood condition, and is an inspiration to parents of children who suffer from it.

Temple was diagnosed with autism in 1950, and didn’t speak until she was almost 4 years old. Doctors initially told her parents that she should be institutionalized, but her mother instead turned to speech therapy and hired a nanny who engaged Grandin with games to help her development.  She began improving shortly after that.

She went to a boarding school in New Hampshire, called Hampshire Country School, where she earned her diploma and went on to attend Franklin Pierce College for her Bachelor’s Degree.  Temple also continued her education and earned a Masters and Doctorate degree in Animal Science.

Temple Grandin became well-known after speaking at a conference for the Autism Society of America, and has made numerous appearances since then as a speaker for autism awareness.

She applies her knowledge of autism to animal welfare as well, in order to promote humane handling of livestock.  Her website even features a section on how to improve slaughter houses and livestock farms in order to respect the rights of animals as living things.

Grandin lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has never married, stating that emotional relationships “are not part of who she is.” She is also a professor at Colorado State University.

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