When you love someone with autism, there are those moments when they overcome a challenge, or conquer a fear – and words just fail to describe how inspiring it is to see them do it. I think a movie airing this Saturday on HBO will bring that feeling to film, as much as it can be. It's called "Temple Grandin," and it's about a woman who grew up when few people knew what autism meant – or what individuals with autism could achieve. Here at Autism Speaks, we're planning to watch with some friends from within our community, and some who want to learn more about autism. Hope you'll plan on watching too. If you're an HBO subscriber, invite friends over to share the experience with you. If you're not, email friends to find folks to watch with.
Born in Massachusetts in 1947, Temple Grandin was initially labeled as brain damaged because she was unable to communicate as a toddler. After she was diagnosed with autism at age three, her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Instead, Temple got the speech therapy and the special training she needed, and went on to prove herself as a brilliant student. She also became a teacher to her teachers, in many ways – helping them understand how a person with autism experiences the world. In later life, by authoring books on autism and becoming an advocate, Temple brought that understanding to the rest of the country and the world. Saturday's HBO movie tells the story of Temple's life – a story that I think will inspire people both within and outside the autism community.
Make plans with your friends to watch "Temple Grandin" on Saturday:
I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of it. Thanks,
President, Autism Speaks