Dr. Temple Grandin – Inventor, Educator and Autism Activist

 “There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what they cannot do”-Dr. Temple Grandin

These words spoken by the renowned author and speaker are a testimonial of her undying spirit despite being diagnosed with autism when she was only two years old. She is also an animal expert.

Dr Temple Grandin - STEM Women

You will not believe that at present, more than half the livestock in North America is raised and processed in systems that are designed by her! 

Early Childhood

Born to Richard Grandin and Eustacia Cutler on August 29 in 1947, Temple Grandin lead a turbulent childhood because of autism that was diagnosed when she was just a toddler.

At that time, this was considered brain damage. Grandin was able to talk when she was three and a half years old.

Fortunate to get early speech therapy from teachers, she gets enrolled in a kindergarten at the age of five.

However, school life was worse because she was continuously teased and bullied during her high school days.

Sometimes, she had even panic attacks, but she continues to make sustained efforts to overcome all the obstacles by her sheer will power.

Meanwhile, she also ends up making some friends who have shared interest in model rockets, horses, and electronics.  


In 1970, Grandin earned a psychology degree from Franklin Pierce College, and then there was no looking back!

She then earned a master’s degree from Arizona State University in animal science in 1975 followed by a doctoral degree in the same subject from the University of Illinois in 1989. 


Immediately after getting her doctoral degree, she got a job at the Colorado State University (CSU) in 1990 as a professor in animal science that proved life-changing for her.

Even today, she is working as a professor at CSU and is often referred to as the most famous person working at CSU by her colleagues.

She has also made a successful career as a consultant to large companies having animal slaughterhouses.

She advised them about the multiple ways by which they could improve the quality of their livestock by better livestock handling equipment design and focusing on animal welfare. 

Some of the authored books 

1983-A Survey of Handling Practices and Facilities Used in the Export of Australian                 

          Livestock Temple Grandin

1983- Livestock Handling from Farm to Slaughter

1995- Thinking in Pictures

2005- Animals in Translation

2009- Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals

2013-The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across The Spectrum

2014- The Autistic Brain

2016- Temple Talks about Autism and the Older Child

2018- Calling All Minds: How To Think and Create Like an Inventor

And many more…


Although Dr.Temple Grandin has won several accolades and awards for her pioneering work in animal welfare and autism, some of the notable ones are the following ones. 

  • 1994- Industry Innovator’s Award by the Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine
  • 1995- Animal Management Award by the American Society of Animal Science
  • 1998- Forbes Award by the National Meat Association
  • 2004- The President’s Award by the National Institute of Animal Agriculture
  • 2012-Lifetime Achievement Award by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), Florida Center for Autism


Dr. Temple Grandin has been honored multiple times, and many more honors may be in their way!

You will be surprised to know that the little girl who was ridiculed during her childhood days because of autism is declared as the 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine in 2010.

Not only that, a biopic has been made and released on her life in which actress Claire Danes played her role in 2010. She is also featured on numerous TV and radio shows, including BBC. 

She has also impressed one and all by her generous nature. Her act of donating a whopping two hundred fifty thousand dollars for building an animal handling and education center in the main campus of Colorado State University has a tremendous impact on researchers, students, and her supporters.

She is still very active despite a busy schedule, and there is no plan of slowing down! After all, curious minds fuelled by science never stop. 





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