The HBO movie Temple Grandin staring Claire Danes swept the 2010 Emmy Awards in almost all movie and mini-series categories. Every acceptance speech included mention of Temple, who was in the audience wearing her signature flashy cowgirl shirt and western belt buckle and she proudly stood up almost every time. She was even able to grace the stage when the movie took home the top honors for best movie, and she grabbed the mic for a second. If you saw the movie, it was a giddy thrill to see in the flesh the autistic and and brilliant woman Claire Danes so charmingly portrayed. If you didn’t see the movie, you’d probably be a little confused.
The short story: Temple Grandin, who is now 63, was diagnosed with autism in 1950, and has shown immense improvement throughout her life. She has a remarkable mind that can perceive and remember details in a precise way that helped her revolutionize the way beef cattle are handled before slaughter.
She helped create a more humane, rational procedure, and went on to publish high-profile essays that championed the ethical treatment of animals. She has a Ph.D. in animal science and has been a huge force for animal rights and an advocate for autism. She embraces neuro-diversity and would not support a complete cure for autism.