The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow

Dr. Temple Grandin is possibly the most famous autistic person to date. The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow is a Horizon (BBC) episode about her life, which mainly deals with how she’s been able to cope with the difficulties inherent in Autism as well as use her unique abilities to craft an exciting and meaningful career.

Her followers believe Temple has a magical connection with animals, but she has a different explanation. She thinks her understanding comes from being born severely autistic. (1:53)

There are two things we can’t overestimate. One is how hard individuals with autism work to live in our world, and to keep to our rules, and to get by. The second is how anxious most individuals with autism are, and the two things go hand in hand. (1:30)

As a little kid, I wanted to feel the nice feeling of being held but it was just too much overwhelming stimulation. – Temple Grandin (3:21)

My theory is that there are similarities between my autistic mind, at least with my type of autism, and animal thinking. Sensory based thinking- it’s thinking in sounds, thinking in touches, thinking in pictures. Emotions are more simple, less complex emotion. You’ve got happy, sad, fearful, and angry. Fear is the main emotion in autism. Fear is also the main emotion in an animal like this. – Temple Grandin (6:20)

It’s taken her nearly 60 years but the child who couldn’t speak has become a voice of wisdom for many. Her insights have inspired whole new areas of autism research. But for Temple, it’s the day to day work in the field of animal welfare that remains her greatest achievement. (6:21)



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