Temple Grandin calls for “real change in the real world”

Most of you have probably heard of Temple Grandin, noted autistic professor, writer, and inventor. Her work centers around psychological diversity and has so many implications. After all, if we’re asking people to accept that there is no “normal” way of demonstrating gender identity or sexuality, then shouldn’t we get hip to the idea that different ways of thinking and interacting with our world should also be seen as necessary diversity? This is her recent TED talk on “thinking in pictures”:

I haven’t seen the new movie starring Claire Danes, but I’ve actually heard fairly good things. Anyone have a chance to check it out? What did you think?
There’s an interactive transcript here.

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10 Comments

  1. ElleStar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I saw the movie. There was also a link here (under What We Missed or over in the Community section) that linked a mother of an autistic child’s response (very positive) to the movie.
    I liked it. Parts of it were a little forced as being “feel-good,” but I was surprised at how good Claire Danes was.
    The movie did a good job of illustrating the visual thinking processes of Temple Grandin.

  2. Starbelly
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I saw the movie at least ten times.
    It’s amazing and just beautiful. It focuses on her ability to see in pictures and her understanding of animals’ behavior patterns, and how she uses her gift to redesign slaughterhouses to be more humane for livestock.
    Thanks for this great article!

  3. aliciamaud74
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I saw it, and I found it pretty compelling…I had read a fair amount about/by Grandin before, but there were elements of her story that were newly illuminated for my by the film, like the sexism she had to face in her early career. I plan to use a clip or two with my (mostly neurotypical) 9th graders, as a supplement to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. We’re also watching this TED talk, and a clip from Autism: The Musical, where one of the children discusses bullying with his mom. I’d be interested in hearing how someone on the autism spectrum responded to the Grandin film–I have looked online but haven’t found much in the way of reviews/discussion by people living with autism…

  4. lovelyliz
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a beautiful, beautiful film. A little cheesy at some points, but very well done.

  5. allegra
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Cool. I mean, from what I’ve read of feminist rhetoric, I think many woman writers and artists have emphasized the importance of non-linear thought, playfulness, and multi-genre/interdisciplinary work for some years, as well as questioning the linear, logical, hierarchical, “scientific” mode of rhetoric (and thinking, and explaining the world) that’s so dominant today and has served as a patriarchal tool. Cixous’ writing, off the top of my head, is all over the place; she refused to adhere to any particular form or make any particular “point,” as we’re usually expected to when we write for an audience.
    And, as pretty much any dancer can tell you, human beings learn and think through our bodies (and senses) all the time, but American culture is still fairly body-phobic and we aren’t encouraged to attach any value to this. I certainly feel that I learned more in my dance classes than in calculus.

  6. Emeraldcityserendipity
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I did not (and will not) see the film and maybe this is a far stretch, one for which I will be attacked by future commenters, but as someone who has Asperger Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism), I think having a non-autistic person portray in an autistic person is akin to have someone who is straight portray someone who is queer in film (I am aware that both occurrences happen quite frequently). Also, perhaps I am being ageist, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have someone who is closer in age to Temple Grandin (who is 62) play her than Claire Danes (who is 30)?!?

  7. ajwagner54
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I am a 23-year-old man with Asperger’s, and I have a point to consider that relates pretty well to the mission of this blog. There is quite a bit of overlap between young males who bully their male middle and high school peers with autism and other disabilities, and those who talk in a derogatory manner about or even sexually harass their female peers. I’m sure this doesn’t come as a shock to anyone now that I’ve said it, but you may not have thought about it that way before.
    I was only subconsciously aware of this while I was in middle and high school but looking back on those years, most of the kids who picked on me after about 6th grade or so (and they were almost all boys by then) were also extremely disrespectful to women. I never explicitly made that connection until just recently, but usually felt uncomfortable around guys who disrespected girls, starting around middle school, because there was a pretty good chance that if they weren’t picking on me already, they probably would start at some point.

  8. IAmGopherrr
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Sweet! She’s a professor at my university!

  9. Toongrrl
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks Court, from a girl with Aspergers

  10. ElleStar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The movie is portraying Grandin’s high school and college years (plus some post-graduate work). So Claire Danes is actually a little old to be playing this role for most of the movie.
    I think it would be great for actors who have Asperger’s to portray not only people with Asperger’s, but other characters as well.

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