Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin is a celebrity for many reasons. She revolutionized the cattle industry with her cattle handling facility designs and insight. Her ability to “think like the cows” was beautifully depicted in the film about her early life, fittingly titled Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University, the author of six books and an autistic activist.

In her 2010 TED Talk, Grandin explains the needs for different types of cognition and provides a first-person view into the mind of someone living on the autism spectrum. She discusses how she is able to build a bridge of understanding between humans and animals, as well as between people on and off the autism spectrum. For example, she speaks of how she thinks in pictures rather than language. In order to solve the energy crisis or develop cures for new diseases, Grandin advocates that society begin to appreciate different types of minds: sensory thinkers, pattern thinkers and abstract thinkers.

When asked about those who would seek to eradicate autism, she retorted, “Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.” View Temple Grandin’s TED Talk: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.