Brain enthusiast Becky Poole as Dr. Temple Temple.
I found this video of Dr. Temple Temple hilarious. Becky Poole's character combines Temple Grandin with Shirley Temple and offers a lecture on the humane cunsumption of animal crackers. My favorite line? "Monkeys, they love to loop the loop-- they'll loop the loop all day."
So this was sort weird and sort of cool. Both The Daily Show and 30 Rock made Temple Grandin jokes last night. Jon Stewart compared a graphic they made showing old people lining up to be killed by a robot to "one of them Temple Grandin machines"-- a reference to Dr. Grandin's design of humane slaughtering equipment. On 30 Rock, Tracey Jordan compared the pressure he was under to "Temple Grandin's squeezing machine."
It was weird that two different shows made jokes about Dr. Grandin in one night. But it was cool that neither joke was about her autism. In fact, she was being treated the way in other celebrity would be.
The walls keep coming down. . .
Dr. Temple Grandin and some of her students.
Dr. Temple Grandin marked Autism Awareness Month by doing this interview with Colorado State University doctoral student Ruth Woiwode. They talk about both livestock handling and autism, and it's a very interesting discussion. Dr. Grandin emphasizes the need to challenge autistic kids, to push them out of their comfort zones without surprising them.
Dr. Temple Grandin has a rhythmic drumming experience.
I love these videos of Temple Grandin doing rhythmic drumming with former student Michelle Hardy. Not just because they are adorable, although they certainly are.
They demonstrate a couple of key factors in Dr. Grandin's success: she's willing to try new things, and she's not afraid to look foolish. Both of these things can be hugh obstacles for everybody, but they are especially hard for people with autism. Our attachment to routine and our slow learning curve with many things can make us very reluctant to leave our comfort zones. Our experiences with unfriendly ridicule may discourage us from trying anything that might make us look silly.
Rhythmic drumming probably isn't going to transform Dr. Grandin's life, but consider how important those qualities were to her academic and professonal success. I wouldn't have the nerve to build a machine to hug myself and bring it into my dorm room. It's true that Dr. Grandin's autism makes her less concerned about social disapproval than many other people, even many of us on the spectrum. It's still a trait worth valuing and imitating, when it comes to not letting what others might think hold us back from trying something that might be good for us or might be fun.
Temple Grandin is saying "yes" to life in these videos. Please follow her example and do the same today.
You can download and watch the award-winning Temple Grandin movie right now. Click here to download on Amazon on Demand or here to download on iTunes.
Or go here if you want to order the DVD, which has a commentary track by Dr. Grandin.
There's a really nice article about Temple Grandin in the Daily Mail to publicize the UK premiere of the award-winning film about her. Reporter goes beyond the obvious in a way that few writers in the US have.
As always, Dr. Grandin is eloquent. Here she is on the difficulties of school and friendship:
The Grandin family had sufficient funds to send Temple to private schools which gave her more individual attention than she would have received in the state system. However, ‘School was still really unpleasant for me,’ says Temple, without self-pity. ‘I was teased all the time. The only places I wasn’t teased were in riding class, the science lab and in model rocket group [the after-school hobby club set up to build model rockets, in which the technically minded Temple thrived].’ Friendships were hard-won for the teenage Temple, a nervous and awkward outsider. ‘The friendships I did build were through these shared experiences, geeking out with others who were interested in the same things,’ she says, her brain more interested, as she puts it, in ‘doing’ than ‘feeling’.
I hadn't really put together until I read this article something that fascinates me:
When Temple was 14, her parents divorced and her mother remarried. Temple and Eustacia had little to do with her father after that and he died in the mid-1990s, she tells me without emotion, but she got on ‘just fine’ with her stepfather, she says. Since Temple adored horses, Eustacia believed she would benefit from spending time at her new sister-in-law’s ranch in Arizona. The notion of such a trip was enormously stressful for the young Temple. ‘I was terrified of new places, people, everything,’ she says. ‘Fear is the overriding emotion in autism. Loud noises, including bells, would trigger awful panic attacks for me.’