“Everything in my mind works like a search engine set for the image function.” – Temple Grandin in 2008
In this lost oral history, which has just been remixed and animated in video form, Temple Grandin, a professor of animal sciences who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in humane livestock handling, explains from the vantage point of her own autism “what it’s really like to have an autistic brain and how Einstein is not the only genius who could have been dismissed for being different.”
The interview, originally recorded on May 13, 2008 with the revered scientist whose work has had a major impact on the meat and livestock industries worldwide, was uncovered in the archives of Colorado State University, where Temple teaches, by the producers of PBS Digital Studio’s Blank on Blank, a programming platform that remixes vintage interview tapes with new animations, so journalists’ unheard interviews with cultural icons can be transformed and brought back to life.
Temple, also a renowned autism author and speaker, is one of a number of experts who maintain that legendary theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, a genius known for doing horribly in school as a child, would be labeled autistic today. She also says the same of brilliant pioneers like Tesla, Carl Sagan, and Mozart, among others.
In regard to Temple’s own personal history with the complex brain disorder, “At age two she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.” From there she went on to achieve a remarkable level of success and continues to do so through her groundbreaking research and teaching.
Temple Grandin, Ph.D. “is now the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.”