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August 30, 2010

The story behind Temple Grandin, Emmy winner

temple grandin emmy awards

The tale of Temple Grandin's battle to cope with autism and fit into the modern world may have been the surprise of the Emmy award ceremonies. Sure, everyone knows about Glee, Mad Men and Modern Family, but the show that will open most folks' eyes is the HBO movie about her life. It won five Emmys, and it was touching to see the winners mention the inspiring Grandin.

Doctor/author Oliver Sacks, who is fascinated by the mind/brain mystery, included her story in "An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Takes." And Grandin delivered her own version in "Thinking in Pictures." As noted on Grandin's website, she "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. ... 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 others."

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 9:20 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Books to Movies


Temple is an amazing person. Her efforts on TV and in writing will help many people and families with Autism. Her chapter in Autism Tomorrow was a great insight for me.

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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