Lance's Journal: Temple Grandin Provides Hope For Millions of People, Jan. 16

When it comes to improving animal welfare, there are very few people that know more or care more than Temple Grandin. And when it comes to autism awareness, Dr. Grandin is also one of the world's foremost authorities.

Dr. Grandin was in Lincoln Tuesday night speaking to a standing room only crowd on UNL's East Campus as part of the Heurmann Lecture Series.

In 2010, HBO released a film that centered on the life of a girl who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, way back in 1949. Her parents were told that their daughter should be institutionalized. Temple Grandin's mom and dad refused to give up hope and lock her away, instead, they gave her the chance to reach her full potential and boy, has she delivered on that.

The movie received 5 Emmy's and Claire Danes won the Golden Globe Award for her captivating portrayal of Temple.

Like many people with autism, Temple has an affinity for animals. Now, as a professor at Colorado State University, she travels the world speaking about livestock management and the ethical treatment of animals.

Temple is widely known as the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world, "I consider it a responsibility because I have a lot of children that email me and write me letters and I try to send them signed cards back. Because I want to be an inspiration to these kids."

She's also urging area teachers to play to a child's greatest strengths, "People that get the different labels they seem to have the uneven skills, we need to work on building up strengths. I've got a new book coming out in May and it's called 'The Autistic Brain' and I'm going to be talking about some of the research on that and how we can help the kids with the different kinds of minds to succeed."

And no one knows more about success than this remarkable woman, "See the thing is a normal mind drops out the details, but the autistic mind sees all the details and that's more like the animal mind because animals are sensory thinkers. They think in pictures."

This best-selling author is respected around the globe. In 2010, Time magazine listed Dr. Grandin as the 31st most influential person in the world.