Sunday, February 14, 2010

Recommendation: HBO film "Temple Grandin."

Last night, we caught a movie that I can't possibly praise highly enough. It's called "Temple Grandin" and it's the compelling story of the woman (Temple Grandin) who not only learned how to overcome the difficulties of living with autism, but who has become the world's foremost expert at humane animal handling for food production. Here's the trailer for the film:

Or, in the words of a BBC documentary, "the woman who thinks like a cow."

She was even cited by PETA for her work, despite the fact that Temple helps design slaughterhouses -- and the amazing part of her work is that she not only figured out how to more humanely treat animals, but demonstrated that by using these techniques, the ranchers can cut costs.

Back when she was young, doctors thought autism was the result of "cold mother syndrome." But Temple's mother rejected this diagnosis and helped her daughter learn, go to school and eventually become a Ph.D. in animal husbandry.

Temple describes the brain of an autistic person as being similar to an office where the CEO (the frontal cortex) is unable to communicate with the rest of the divisions. And, like animals, autistic people are confronted with intense emotions -- fear, anger, etc. -- so they react instantaneously, unable to process the emotions.

This film is not only entertaining and informative, but inspiring. It left both Jim and me with tears in our eyes at the end. I'm so glad a friend of mine recommended this. Do not miss it.

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