Inventors are inspirational. Temple Grandin is an inventor, professor, author, autism spokesperson, and livestock industry consultant. She is known for livestock industry consultation, autism rights activism, and for her invention of the “hug box”. This device was made initially for her personal use, but has since been a calming device for those on the autism spectrum.
Mary Temple Grandin was born on August 29, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts. Temple has three younger siblings. Her parents were wealthy and took her to doctors due to her behavior and by age two she was diagnosed with brain damage. Institutionalization was recommended, however her mother began her role as her daughter’s advocate. Her mother later realized that Temple had autism. Her mother took her to researchers at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. This led to speech therapy. Her mother, also, paid for a nanny to play educational games with Temple. Private schools with sympathetic staff started her schooling on a positive path. Middle and high school were difficult due to her peers taunting and laughing at her. Her parents divorced and her mother remarried. During these years, she had two really influential things occur. She spent a summer at an Arizona ranch that belonged to her new stepfather’s sister. She, also, had a science teacher that became her mentor and gave her the idea to build the “hug box”. He later encouraged her to do scientific experiments to evaluate its efficacy.
After high school, she attended Franklin Pierce College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human psychology in 1970. In 1975, she received a mater’s degree in animal science from Arizona State University. She, also, later earned a doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. She has lectured and written about her experience with autism. She has designed curved corrals to reduce stress and injury of animals being led to slaughter. She promotes improvement of standards for slaughter houses and livestock farms. Temple is seen as a humane livestock facility designer. She became a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.
Temple Grandin has received honors and awards. In 2004, she received an award from PeTA. In 2010, the Time 100 named her an influential “Hero”. In 2011, Temple received a Double Helix Medal. She has been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. She has received many honorary degrees. She has been honored in popular culture on television programs, in writing, on documentaries, in songs, and on film.
She has said and wants us all to remember that the world needs all kinds of minds. Be inspired! Have a bright day!