«Being a person who suffers from autism, I find it easy to understand how animals think»
Temple Grandin is a renowned zoologist and ethologist. Professor at the University of Colorado, consultant to large companies producing meat and farms «with animal ethics.» Half of the meat produced in the United States and Canada is processed by facilities designed by Temple Grandin.
Temple is a surprising woman already with all this … But it is much more surprising when we know the challenges that Temple Grandin has had to overcome to reach them. Because Temple, although they can not believe it, is autistic.
Let’s meet Temple Grandín, a woman who knew herself through the love of animals and through them she discovered her mission in life.
We will know his childhood, adolescence and his achievements. Let’s meet Temple Grandin.
Let’s see the TED talk that this wonderful woman left for posterity
What is the essence of Temple Grandin?
To know Temple Grandin, is to know the will made woman. Not only has he had to endure the prejudices and intricate difficulties of being autistic. Being a woman has also presented challenges in a still too macho world. Knowing your work is knowing the richness of nature and the advancement of science. But above all it is to value the importance of an autistic woman who has faced all kinds of barriers to face life and develop the study, knowledge and appreciation of animals.
First of all we want to rescue the love of Temple and appreciation of the animal world, especially the world of the behavior of horses.
It was her first encounters with horses that helped her to understand herself through horses, scary animals like autistics. Thus in the reflection of his behaviors he constructed an idea of animal psychology and made numerous discoveries. For love of horses I overcome all its limitations, to give them a better life.
Temple Grandin is a very important reference, both in the autistic community, and in the field of zoology and animal welfare.
She was just happy riding horses in Arizona.
Temple Grandin from a very young age rejected the physical contact of the people; however, he approached the animals quite easily and always achieved real contact with them.
In fact he devoted himself to studying the behavior of horses and developed a special empathy with these animals.
His adolescence marked his destiny
In his adolescence he used to spend summer seasons at the Arizona farm of one of his uncles. There he even managed to lay the foundations of one of his inventions.
In his adolescence, part of his therapy was based on riding and caring for horses. But she discovered very soon that they also had their own emotional problems. This inspired her and motivated her to study and dedicate her life to the care and improvement of animal welfare.
Since her adolescence, she began her work as a researcher, she had to face many personal battles, not only because of her condition as autistic, but also especially as a woman. He must impose himself and respect himself.
At age 16, he met people who worked in the fields and livestock and saw how some farmers used metal plates to immobilize and calm the animals when the vet came.
He realized that the animals seemed to like this kind of squeeze; in such a way that Temple Grandin manufactured one of these devices, adapting it for her. With this he controlled his anxiety attacks on many occasions.
Temple Grandin in the university.
This autistic researcher, of an iron will, took her invention to the university.
They say that he used his invention to calm down, to give himself squeezes when he felt bad, between class and Psychology class.
After graduating, after obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Temple earned a master’s degree in animal science, and went on to visit many farms to provide care and greater welfare for the animals.
She then became the best farm designer in the United States and on the other hand opened a hopeful path for parents of autistic children.
Hope for parents of autistic children
At the end of many of the talks that Temple Grandin dictates, parents of autistic children ask many questions. They ask him things like why his children covered their ears, why they do not look at them, why he has these and other obsessions or manias.
She responds with patience and gives examples of her own experience and makes them aware that it is easy for us, but many things can be achieved, if persevered.
Autistic people do not display many social skills: they find it difficult to relate to others, they do repetitive movements. They can become aggressive if they are removed from the routine, they do not understand metaphors, nor jokes nor double meanings, and they live in a soliloquy of images and sounds.
Temple Grandin wrote his experiences in a book entitled Thinking in Pictures: Other Reports from My Life with Autism (1996). It is also an essay dedicated to addressing the way of thinking of autistics.
Let’s see Dr. Temple Grandin’s talk «The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum» in Talks at Google that gives hope to parents of autistic children
You have to think like horses
In one of his most famous conferences: «You have to think like animals», Grandin pauses particularly in horses and talks about associative thinking:
«Both people suffering from autism and animals think through visual associations, these associations resemble photographs of events, and tend to be very specific, for example, a horse may be afraid of bearded men when they see them inside the The animal fears the bearded in the shed because in the past he had a bad experience with a bearded man in a barn. «
Fear is the main emotion
Temple Gradin talks about different emotions and talks particularly about fear, because it is a very important emotion in autistic people and says that it is also the most relevant emotion in some animals such as horses. He says that the things that frighten equines also scare autistic children:
«Anything that seems out of place, like a piece of paper carried by the wind, can cause fear, and objects that move abruptly are the ones that cause the most fear.» In wild life, sudden movements are frightening because predators do sudden movements «
Gradually she gives us examples that make us reflect on the subject and value his knowledge. It makes us think particularly about the autistic spectrum and invites us to sharpen the attention on this special condition that many people live and that in a high percentage are not diagnosed and not only suffer greatly. A wonderful human potential is lost, due to ignorance.
The fear felt by autistics and horses
It is not a researcher who deals with a foreign subject, or who simply observes her object of study. She is a researcher who is speaking from her own experience:
Both animals and people suffering from autism are also afraid of high-pitched noises.
I still have problems with these noises. The alarm that garbage trucks have when they march backwards even today makes my pulse quicken if it makes me wake up in the middle of the night.
The rumble of thunder, however, does not affect me. Prey species, such as cattle and horses, have very sensitive ears, and a loud noise can make them hurt.
When I was a child, the sound of the bell at school was like a dentist’s wheel in my ear. It is possible that the speaker system in a horse show has a similar effect on the ears of horses.
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