Ms. Grandin is arguably the most well known adult with autism, and has through the years become one of the most respected voices on autism and autism advocacy. Born in 1947, her autism was diagnosed when she was a child. At that time the so little was known about that disorder that most psychiatrists believed it was caused by cold, withholding “refrigerator mothers” that did not show enough affection towards their children. Temple's mother was anything but - and due to her nurturing upbringing and the guidance of a few farsighted teachers, Temple blossomed to her full potential and today has a PhD in animal science and is a professor at Colorado State University.
Ms. Grandin credits autism for her achievements, arguing that she would never have been so attuned to animal sensibilities or the fine points of agricultural engineering without the distinctive vision and hypersensitivity that comes with autism.
Temple Grandin also recently spoke at TED 2010. Video of her outstanding talk can be viewed below: