When most people think of autism, the image that comes to mind is one of a silent, withdrawn child, incapable of expressing themselves verbally or emotionally. Yet the emergence of better science and understanding of the wide range of variables of symptoms exhibited in autistic children have had an impact in how diagnoses are interpreted. Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism at a young age and was fortunate enough to find herself in a progressive environment where she was surrounded by supportive parents and teachers. Although she suffered from delayed speech development and other Autistic Spectrum Disorders, she attended school with peers and in spite of being subjected to teasing and ridicule from some of her fellow students, she went on to excel in academics ultimately graduating with a degree in Psychology from Franklin Pierce College. Her educational pursuits continued with her earning a Masters degree and then a Doctoral degree in Animal Science.
As a scientist, public speaker and author she advocates for the rights of individuals with autism as well as animal rights. She is a proponent of recognizing the different degrees of autism and focusing on early education as a means of balancing social dysfunction. Dr. Grandin recently sat down with #InTheLab host Arthur Kade to share her views on the gray areas that cloud the full spectrum of autism as well as discuss her new book "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum". A disease that is still as mystifying as the human brain itself, Dr. Grandin's work in advocating awareness for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders is groundbreaking and innovating in the advancement of treatment of social development disabilities.