Temple Grandin

People and Programs

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. A professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State, Grandin is a highly sought after speaker, lecturing around the world on autism and livestock handling.

"People feed, shelter, and breed cattle and hogs, and in return the animals provide food and clothing. We must never abuse them, because that would break an ancient contract. We owe it to animals to give them decent living conditions and a painless death."

- Temple Grandin
'Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism'

Dr. Grandin's insights into animal behavior and her innovations in livestock handling have revolutionized food-animal welfare. Along the way, Grandin has also inspired people around the world as a champion for individuals with autism and their families.

Her accomplishments as a speaker, author and advocate earned her a place among TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2010, and her life story was the subject of the acclaimed 2010 HBO biopic, "Temple Grandin," winner of seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.

Temple Grandin is world-famous for using insights gained from her autism to lead dramatic improvements in the livestock industry. A professor at Colorado State for more than 20 years, Grandin is a celebrated speaker who lectures internationally on autism and livestock handling..

PBS Documentary Marks National Autism Awareness Month

To mark National Autism Awareness Month in April, CSU and Rocky Mountain PBS have teamed up to produce and air a documentary about the influence of Temple Grandin, CSU's world-famous animal scientist who has overcome struggles with autism to revolutionize farm-animal welfare. Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds aired on Rocky Mountain PBS channels in 2012.

Grandin Featured at TEDxCSU

A Celebration of Dr. Temple Grandin

This tribute, celebrating the accomplishments of Dr. Temple Grandin, was shown at the 2011 campus celebration of her contributions to the University. [more information]

Grandin wass the sponsor and headline speaker for TEDxCSU: Growing Greener Generations on April 23. Grandin spoke at TED 2010 and her talk has been viewed online more than three million times.

Grandin named to Colorado Women's Hall of Fame

Grandin was among the 2012 inductees to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame for her trailblazing work in livestock welfare and autism advocacy.

She and nine others were honored during the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame 2012 Induction Gala on March 8 at the Denver Marriott City Center.

November 17, 2014 reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Event

Temple on reddit Monday, November 17 at 11 a.m.

The CSU Professor of Animal Sciences is hosting an AMA, or "ask me anything" session via reddit. Log on to ask a question between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., and she may answer your question live.

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Autism Awareness Month 2011

A part of Autism Awareness Month in 2011, Grandin sat down with one of her top CSU graduate students to talk about her work; the resulting video, The World Needs All Kinds of Minds: An Interview with Dr. Temple Grandin, is available at right.

Grandin also delivered the keynote talk during a first-ever CSU symposium on autism, "Transition and Transformation: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the College Environment." The symposium focused on identifying and meeting the unique needs of these students on college and university campuses, a growing issue nationwide.

Dr. Grandin's lecture and presentation slides are available on the autism symposium website.

My Favorite Lecture, 2011

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) hosts a series of "My Favorite Lectures" each academic year. The series is designed as an opportunity for students to connect with distinquished CSU faculty from widely diverse disciplines, including topics and speakers outside of their immediate course work or disciplinary paths.

Grandin's 2011 lecture, The World Needs All Kinds of Minds, centered on animal behavior, visual thinking, and autism. The lecture is available online.


TED, a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, held its initial conference in 1984, bringing together visionary people from technology, entertainment, and design. It has since expanded to two annual conferences, the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the annual TED Prize and more.

Dr. Grandin shared the TED2010 stage with brilliant minds such as Bill Gates, James Cameron, and David Byrne. Her session focused on how her ability to 'think in pictures' allows her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss.Additionally, she makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.





An accomplished author

Dr. Grandin's Emergence: Labeled Autistic stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.

Grandin is the author of two of her books that appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, as well as Different Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport, Humane Livestock Handling, The Way I See It.

Award-winning HBO movie

Temple Grandin

Dr. Grandin poses with actress Claire Danes at the premiere of Temple Grandin in January 2010. (AP Photo)
Professor of Animal Sciences

Grandin’s life story has been made into an HBO movie, Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes.

The movie depicts Grandin’s life as a child, during her high school years, and follows her during the 1970s as she begins her career in her chosen field of food-animal welfare and as an equipment designer determined to help reduce stress on animals. The film delivers messages about autism and treating animals humanely.

The movie received seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.









Dr. Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin
Professor of Animal Sciences

Dr. Grandin is a professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College: she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University and was awarded her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Temple's achievements are remarkable because she is a woman with autism. In fact, Temple Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.

Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes has been brought to the screen in her HBO biopic, Temple Grandin, which won numerous awards and accolades at the 62nd Emmy Awards in August 2010.

A Game Changer for Autism

Dr. Grandin didn't talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She tells her story of "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.

Even though she was considered "weird" in her young school years, she eventually found a mentor, who recognized her interests and abilities. Dr. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift, and other companies on animal welfare.

TIME Magazine

Grandin garnered more than 15,000 votes in public online voting, placing her No. 31 on Time’s 100 most influential people in the world list.

International Acclaim

In 2010, Temple was named by TIME Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.

As Managing Editor of TIME Magazine, Rick Stengel has said of the list in the past, "The TIME 100 is not a list of the most powerful people in the world, it's not a list of the smartest people in the world; it's a list of the most influential people in the world. They're scientists, they're thinkers, they're philosophers, they're leaders, they're icons, they're artists, they're visionaries. People are using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people."

Temple was also listed as one of twenty-five "Heroes" of 2010, with the author of "Heroes," a professor at Harvard University, writing, "What do neurologists, cattle, and McDonald's have in common? They all owe a great deal to one woman ... Temple Grandin ... an extraordinary source of inspiration for autistic children, their parents — and all people."

An 'Ingenious Mind'

In early March, Grandin –was the subject of an Ingenious Minds episode on the Discovery Science Channel. The show also has a neurological focus – with expert analysis of Grandin’s brain scans- and followed Grandin through a day in Fort Collins, as she taught a livestock-handling class in the College of Agricultural Sciences; visited the CSU Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, where many of her innovations are showcased; and interacted with horses at her ranch near town.

More information and resoures

CSU symposium on college students with autism spectrum disorders
CSU resources for students with autism spectrum disorders
Assets for media and reporters
Articles published in Today @ Colorado State

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