BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Temple Grandin, Ph. D., has been described as an innovator, an author, an activist and autistic.
She's recognized as one of the world's leading experts on humane livestock handling and autism. On top of that, she regularly speaks at colleges and conferences across the country and she's a college professor at Colorado State University.
Despite all of her success, she said she never dream of her life turning into what it is today.
"When I was really young, I just kind of wanted to grow up and become a scientist in kind of a vague way." Grandin said.
Growing up, Grandin said she was different than her classmates and constantly bullied.
Diagnosed with autism as a child, she knew her brain worked differently, but it was that difference that would give her the ability to see things no one else could.
In 2010, HBO Films chronicled her childhood life, her unique way of thinking and the beginning of her career in a movie simply titled "Temple Grandin".
The movie went on to win seven Emmy Awards.
In her lifetime, Grandin has authored numerous books, and since the movie, regularly gives speeches around the world on autism and livestock.
"Basically I build my business up slowly and then the movie happened. That made things a whole lot busier." Said Grandin.
Grandin shares her knowledge and her story at places like Bakersfield College where she spoke as part of BC's Distinguished Speaker Series.
She said she hopes to create a better understanding for those who come across a person with a learning disability.
"A lot of kids with learning differences, regardless of label, they're like a phone on one bar. It takes longer to process. It takes longer to respond. And you've got to give that website time to download so they can make a response," Grandin said in one of her speeches at BC.
She also aims to inspire students to figure out what they want to do with their lives.
"What I want to get across, especially to the kids who are different, find something you're good at. Make yourself good at it. And I want to help students now, like maybe at this college here, get out and get into a good career." Grandin said.
She stresses the importance of students being exposed to different careers.
"When you get exposed to different careers, you can find out what you like, it's also important to find out what you might hate too." she said.
And beyond exposure, she recommends students take part by doing internships.
All along the way, she addresses questions from parents and grandparents who have children diagnosed with autism. For young children ages 2, 3 or 4, she suggests early intervention, 20 hours a week with an effective teacher teaching language and teaching skills.
For those a bit old she said it varies depending on where the person is on the autism spectrum.
"One thing I've been recommending for like 11 year old kids is walking dogs for the neighbors because they've got to learn how to do a task, on a schedule, outside of the home. And that's something that costs nothing to set up and they should get paid a little bit for it." Grandin said.
She said it's those families who she has given advice to that will find her years later and tell her how well their loved one is doing because of her advice.
That she says, is what keeps her going.
"Well that just really makes me feel satisfied that I'm doing something that's worthwhile."
You can find more about Temple Grandin on her website here.