One of the most prolific scholars, within the autism community, Temple Grandin, is professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. Grandin didn’t speak until she was three and a half years old. Her parents said that Grandin would communicate her frustration by screaming, peeping and humming – and doctors recommended that they institutionalize Grandin.
In her book, Grandin mentions, “I have read enough to know that there are still many parents, and yes, professionals too, who believe that ‘once autistic, always autistic.’ This dictum has meant sad and sorry lives for many children diagnosed, as I was in early life, as autistic. To these people, it is incomprehensible that the characteristics of autism can be modified and controlled. However, I feel strongly that I am living proof that they can.”
In 2010, TIME named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and HBO produced a biopic based on her life which starred Claire Danes as Grandin. In addition, her work in the animal sciences has significantly developed corrals to improve quality of life for their cattle. Not to mention, she’s an outspoken advocate for the autism community and has aided in real progressive change.