Temple Grandin: the World Needs All Kinds of Minds


Dr. Temple Grandin is famous for her work in animal behavior, as a consultant to the livestock industry. She has a natural facility to understand different modes of thinking, probably because her own mode of thinking is so different from most people's -- Grandin is autistic, and "thinks in pictures." She argues that in order to be humane to animals, we need to think like them -- in pictures and other sensory information, rather than verbal language. Grandin has also written about her life, and those books have influenced many parents of autistic children.

In this brand new TED Talk from just two weeks ago, Grandin gives a great presentation about autism, mentors, and how we think. Discussed: TED being a room full of people on the autistic spectrum, "the normal brain ignores the details," the movie version of Grandin's experiments, visual thinking in her work, how young autistics today "belong in Silicon Valley," brain scans, math, the types of thinkers, how we need all kinds of minds, "we've gotta show kids interesting stuff," mentors, how the spear was invented by an autistic person, and what Grandin is passionate about.

For more from Grandin, I highly recommend her 1996 book Thinking in Pictures, or check out her Wikipedia page. (Check out the links at the bottom of Wikipedia's page for interviews and video.)