This post was originally published on World Autism Awareness Day. In honor of those with autism and to raise awareness in some small way, this week’s book is about a truly remarkable person with autism.
About the book: When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism. While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead.
Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make.
This compelling biography complete with Temple’s personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.
My Two Cents: This is a book that can be read quickly and is totally accessible to kids (although descriptions of the slaughterhouses that Temple improves might be too much for very young readers). Temple’s story helps the reader not only understand autism, but also appreciate the value of other kinds of minds as “different, not less.” Rita Shreffler, the executive director of the National Autism Association, calls Temple Grandin “a source of inspiration to parents of children with autism who know their kids have abilities that often go unrealized.” It would be hard for anyone to read this book and not be inspired by Temple Grandin’s compassionate heart and brilliant mind.
Grade Level: 3-5
- Watch Temple Grandin’s TED talk, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds”
- Visit one of the most comprehensive resources, with advocacy ideas, events, family services, and information on how you can help: Autism Speaks
- Read author Ellen Notbohm’s Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
- Visit Temple Grandin’s website.
- Watch the movie that was made about Temple Grandin’s life.
More to Read:
- A story featuring another girl who had autism before it was widely diagnosed: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
- Another girl with autism who figures out how to deal with difficult things: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
- Another kid on the autism spectrum with an interest in science: The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman
- A great book from the perspective of an autistic child’s sibling: Rules by Cynthia Lord
- All of Temple Grandin’s books (written primarily for adults)