Temple Grandin a real winner

You’ve probably already heard that Claire Danes won a Golden Globe Sunday night for best actress in a television movie. She won it for her portrayal of Temple Grandin in a bioflick of the same name.

While many people know that Temple Grandin has autism, what they didn’t recognize until seeing this movie is how much the Colorado State University professor has contributed to improving conditions at large livestock processing plants. Dr. Grandin truly is a remarkable woman, teacher, author, advocate and a revered academic.

Heather Pint published a book review here of Temple Grandin’s memoir, Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism. In her review, Pint described Grandin’s early years as isolating, particularly since autism spectrum disorders were fairly unknown at the time. During an interview on Fresh Air, Terry Gross asked Grandin what it was that prevented her from being isolated like that her entire life. Grandin’s answer? Early intervention. “I started speech therapy when I was two-and-a-half years old.”

Patricia Wright, the National Director of Autism Services here at Easter Seals, wrote a blog post about the merits of early intervention.

Autism affects everyone differently and involves challenges in communication, social skills, and behaviors. If you’re worried your child may have autism — or feel something just isn’t right — follow your instincts. Don’t assume that your child will catch up. Share your concerns with your pediatrician. Look into your state’s early intervention program. Get a diagnosis. And seek support from community service and treatment providers like Easter Seals.

I’m sure Temple Grandin would agree with Patricia! If you missed the Fresh Air interview you can access it as a Fresh Air archived podcast or via iTunes. I congratulate Claire Danes for her Golden Globe, and I especially congratulate the real winner: Temple Grandin.


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