Dr. Temple Grandin

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s

Program Date: April 27, 2019

Dr. Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is an international lecturer on autism, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a best-selling author, an autistic activist, a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and an engineer. The subject of an Emmy Award-winning biographical film starring Claire Danes, Temple Grandin has also been listed in the TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

At The Richmond Forum, Dr. Grandin will share her insider perspective into how and why people with autism think differently and see the world.

Autism is an important part of who I am, and I wouldn’t want to change it, because I like the way I think.–Dr. Temple Grandin


Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.

She didn’t talk until she was three-and-a-half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She recounts “groping her way from the far side of darkness” in Emergence: Labeled Autistic, her 1986 book that stunned the world because until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.

Even though she was considered “weird” in her young school years, she eventually found a mentor who recognized her interests and abilities. Dr. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world. Today, half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. She has also developed animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry.

Dr. Grandin has been featured on NPR and major television programs, including the BBC special The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow, ABC’s Primetime Live, The Today Show, Larry King Live, 48 Hours, and 20/20 and has been written about in many national publications, including TIME (she was included in the magazine’s 2010 list of the world’s most influential people), People, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times.

Dr. Grandin’s bestselling books include The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, Animals Make Us Human, Animals in Translation, Thinking in Pictures, and Emergence: Labeled Autistic.

In her forthcoming book, Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor (out May 15, 2018), Grandin will show young readers and budding scientists how to think like her by sharing more than 20 of the projects she worked on herself as a child. In doing so, she espouses the importance of working with your hands and mind in a world that skews increasingly toward the virtual.

In 2010, her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes, was brought to the screen with the HBO full-length film Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. The movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award. In 2016, Temple Grandin was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Oliver Sacks profiled Grandin in his best-selling book An Anthropologist on Mars. She is also the subject of the award-winning 2017 children’s book The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin, by Julia Finley Mosca.

Temple Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974, she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975, she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989 and is currently a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University.

She is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America.

2018-2019 Season

Captain Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly
November 17, 2018
Tina Fey
Tina Fey
January 19, 2019
Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Gupta
February 23, 2019
Ian Bremmer
Ian Bremmer
March 23, 2019
Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin
April 27, 2019

Past Programs You May Like