Temple Grandin: Dogs and Autism - S01E06

Dogs in Our World Podcast

Temple Grandin: Dogs and Autism - S01E06

Show Notes

Via: The Oregonian
The author, teacher, public speaker and cattle-industry consultant is known for advocacy in another area, too, in part because she might be the most famous person in the world with autism.
Temple Grandin On Her Search Engine | Blank on Blank
Everything in my mind works like a search engine set for the image function." - Temple Grandin in 2008, from an oral history at Colorado State University

Hear more interview outtakes and learn more about Temple Grandin @ http://blankonblank.org/temple-grandin

You’ve probably heard the story that Einstein - whose name is synonymous with genius - didn’t seem destined for much when he was a small child. He was years behind other children when it came to learning to talk, he did horribly in school. It seems that Einstein’s brain just worked differently than most other people’s. And many people these days are saying that Einstein was probably autistic - one of them is Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin is a professor of animal sciences who’s worked in the meat industry to invent kinder ways to lead cattle to slaughter. She’s also autistic - the high-functioning version known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Autism, in case you don’t know, is a brain disorder that tends to affect people’s social skills, like the ability to read facial expressions and body language, but it can also mean extraordinary talent in math, music and the visual arts.

Temple Grandin has become something of a celebrity of autism. She’s written books, given TED talks, and she’s been around the world to speak on the subject. Claire Danes has even played her in a movie about her life.

As part of our special series, The Experimenters--where we uncover interviews with the icons of science, technology, and innovation…-- we found this interview in the holdings of Colorado State University, where Temple teaches. In this conversation, Temple’s at her best, explaining for the rest of us what it’s really like to have an autistic brain and how Einstein’s not the only genius who could have been dismissed for being different.
Temple Grandin Talks To George Stroumboulopoulos
Doctor of animal science and autism advocate Temple Grandin sits down to tell George about her life, her activism, and what she's most proud of. George Strou...
Via: Stanford Medicine News Center
Temple Grandin, PhD, is one of the most well-known and accomplished adults with autism. As a child, she did not speak until she was 3 1/2, communicating her frustration by screaming, peeping and humming. Born in 1947, she was diagnosed with autism in 1950, at which point her parents were told she should be institutionalized.
By: Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
The best-selling animal advocate Temple Grandin offers the most exciting exploration of how animals feel since The Hidden Life of Dogs.

In her groundbreaking and best-selling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her distinguished career as an animal scientist to deliver extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest life—on their terms, not ours.

It’s usually easy to pinpoint the cause of physical pain in animals, but to know what is causing them emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals. Then she explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals. Whether it’s how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures.

Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience.

This is essential reading for anyone who’s ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.
Animals Make Us Human
By: Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
I don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now. --From Animals in Translation

Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.

People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.
Animals in Translation
By: Temple Grandin
Discover how humanely handling your livestock can improve the day-to-day operation and profitability of your farm. Stressing the importance of understanding livestock behavior, Temple Grandin shows you how to develop a respectful working relationship with your animals to promote their health and productivity. With detailed construction plans for animal-friendly facilities of all sizes and dozens of low-stress methods for moving your livestock on pastures, padlocks, and feedlot pens, this guide has everything you need to know to create a comfortable atmosphere for thriving, happy livestock.
Humane Livestock Handling
By: Temple Grandin
Award-winning author Temple Grandin is famous for her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior. Now she extends her expert guidance to small-scale farming operations. Grandin’s fascinating explanations of how herd animals think — describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories — and how to analyze their behavior, will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively. You’ll learn to become a skilled observer of animal movement and behavior, and detailed illustrations will help you set up simple and efficient facilities for managing a small herd of 3 to 25 cattle or pigs, or 5 to 100 goats or sheep.
Temple Grandin's Guide to Working with Farm Animals
By: Temple Grandin
By taking an entirely practical approach, this textbook helps those working with animals to apply methods for improving welfare and bridging the gap between scientific research and practical application. This book provides a guide to practical evaluation and auditing of welfare problems for farmed animals, emphasizing the importance of measuring conditions that compromise welfare, such as lameness or the use of electric goads. This second edition is fully updated with new literature, up-to-date coverage of pain management, and the addition of a new chapter on animal welfare in organic farming systems.
Improving Animal Welfare
By: Temple Grandin, Mark J. Deesing
Behavior is shaped by both genetics and experience--nature and nurture. This book synthesizes research from behavioral genetics and animal and veterinary science, bridging the gap between these fields. The objective is to show that principles of behavioral genetics have practical applications to agricultural and companion animals.

The continuing domestication of animals is a complex process whose myriad impacts on animal behavior are commonly under-appreciated. Genetic factors play a significant role in both species-specific behaviors and behavioral differences exhibited by individuals in the same species. Leading authorities explore the impact of increased intensities of selection on domestic animal behavior. Rodents, cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, herding and guard dogs, and poultry are all included in these discussions of genetics and behavior, making this book useful to veterinarians, livestock producers, laboratory animal researchers and technicians, animal trainers and breeders, and any researcher interested in animal behavior.

Includes four new chapters on dog and fox behavior, pig behavior, the effects of domestication and horse behavior
Synthesizes research from behavioral genetics, animal science, and veterinary literature
Broaches fields of behavior genetics and behavioral research
Includes practical applications of principles discovered by behavioral genetics researchers
Covers many species ranging from pigs, dogs, foxes, rodents, cattle, horses, and cats
Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals
Via: Crista L. Coppola, Temple Grandin, R. Mark Enns / Physiology and Behavior
Animal shelters are an extremely stressful environment for a dog, most specifically due to social isolation and novel surroundings. The stress response of dogs housed in this environment may be alleviated through human interaction shortly after arrival. During their second day in a public animal shelter, adult stray dogs were either engaged in a human contact session or not. The session involved taking the dog into an outdoor enclosure, playing with the dog, grooming, petting and reviewing basic obedience commands. Each dog interacted with a human for approximately 45 min. Salivary cortisol levels were examined from each dog on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 9th day of housing. Animals that engaged in a human contact session had lower cortisol levels on day 3 than animals that did not. Breed type, sex and age did not have an effect on cortisol levels on any day measured. A human interaction session can be beneficial to both animal welfare and adoption procedures. The current study not only utilized the human contact session as a treatment to reduce stress but also as a resource for individual temperament/personality information that could be later used to facilitate compatible adoptions. Human interaction may be an effective means of reducing the cortisol response of dogs in the aversive shelter environment.

By: Naoki Higashida
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.
The Reason Why I Jump
By: Naoki Higashida
aoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote The Reason I Jump, a revelatory account of autism from the inside by a nonverbal Japanese child, which became an international success.

Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a twenty-four-year-old man living each day with severe autism. In short, powerful chapters, Higashida explores school memories, family relationships, the exhilaration of travel, and the difficulties of speech. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it’s raining outside. Acutely aware of how strange his behavior can appear to others, he aims throughout to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage society to see people with disabilities as people, not as problems.

With an introduction by bestselling novelist David Mitchell, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 also includes a dreamlike short story Higashida wrote especially for this edition. Both moving and of practical use, this book opens a window into the mind of an inspiring young man who meets every challenge with tenacity and good humor. However often he falls down, he always gets back up.
Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8
By: Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
An astounding new work by the author of The Mind Tree that offers a rare insight into the autistic mind and how it thinks, sees, and reacts to the world. When he was three years old, Tito was diagnosed as severely autistic, but his remarkable mother, Soma, determined that he would overcome the “problem” by teaching him to read and write. The result was that between the ages of eight and eleven he wrote stories and poems of exquisite beauty, which Dr. Oliver Sacks called “amazing and shocking.” Their eloquence gave lie to all our assumptions about autism. Here Tito goes even further and writes of how the autistic mind works, how it views the outside world and the “normal” people he deals with daily, how he tells his stories to the mirror and hears stories back, how sounds become colors, how beauty fills his mind and heart. With this work, Tito—whom Portia Iversen, co-founder of Cure Autism Now, has described as “a window into autism such as the world has never seen”—gives the world a beacon of hope. For if he can do it, why can’t others? “Brave, bold, and deeply felt, this book shows that much we might have believed about autism can be wrong.”—Boston Globe
How Can I Talk If My Lips Don't Move?
By: Stephen Kuusisto
In a lyrical love letter to guide dogs everywhere, a blind poet shares his delightful story of how a guide dog changed his life and helped him discover a newfound appreciation for travel and independence.

At the age of thirty-eight, Stephen Kuusisto—who has managed his whole life without one—gets his first guide dog, a beautiful yellow labrador named Corky. Theirs is a partnership of movement, mutual self-interest, and wanderlust. Walking with Corky in Manhattan for the first time, Steve discovers he’s “living the chaos of joy—you’re in love with your surroundings, loving a barefoot mind, wild to go anyplace.”

Have Dog, Will Travel is the inside story of how a person establishes trust with a dog, how a guide dog is trained. Corky absolutely transforms Steve’s life and his way of being in the world. Profound and deeply moving, theirs is a spiritual journey, during which Steve discovers that joy with a guide dog is both a method and a state of mind. Guaranteed to make you laugh—and cry—this beautiful reflection on the highs, lows, and everyday details that make up life with a guide dog provides a profound exploration of Stephen’s lifelong struggle with disability, identity, and the midlife events that lead to self-acceptance.
Have Dog, Will Travel
By: Temple Grandin, Richard Panek
Temple Grandin may be the most famous person with autism, a condition that affects 1 in 88 children. Since her birth in 1947, our understanding of it has undergone a great transformation, leading to more hope than ever before that we may finally learn the causes of and treatments for autism.

Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Most excitingly, she argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to foster their unique contributions. The Autistic Brain brings Grandin’s singular perspective into the heart of the autism revolution.
The Autistic Brain
By: Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.

In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.
Thinking in Pictures
By: Temple Grandin
Dr. Temple Grandin gets to the REAL issues of autism, the ones parents, teachers, and individuals on the spectrum face every day. Temple offers helpful dos and don’ts, practical strategies, and try-it-now tips, all based on her insider perspective and a great deal of research. These are just some of the specific topics she delves into:
How and Why People with Autism Think Differently
Economical Early Intervention Programs that Work
How Sensory Sensitivities Affect Learning
Behaviors Caused by a Disability vs. Just Bad Behaviors
Teaching People with Autism to Live in an Unpredictable World
Alternative Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine
Employment Ideas for Adults with Autism
This revised and expanded edition of The Way I See It contains 32 new subjects based on the most current autism research, including:
The Role of Genetics and Environmental Factors in Causing Autism
Understanding the Mind of a Nonverbal Person with Autism
Finding Mentors and Appropriate Colleges
Teachable Moments Give the Child Time to Respond
And more!
The Way I See It
Via: Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Zsofia Virani, Eniko Kubinyi and Friederike Range / Frontiers in Psychology
Background: Wolves have been shown to be better in independent problem-solving tasks than dogs, however it is unclear whether cognitive or motivational factors underlie such differences. In a number of species problem solving has been linked to both persistence ...
Via: Jaak Panksepp / Plos One
Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher brain regions. Such findings suggest nested-hierarchies of BrainMind affective processing, with primal emotional functions being foundational for secondary-process learning and memory mechanisms, which interface with tertiary-process cognitive-thoughtful functions of the BrainMind.
Via: Josh Sanburn / Time Magazine
As student loan debt skyrockets, community college is more important than ever.
By: Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: “the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.”
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat : And Other Clinical Tales
By: Rachel Rose
An acclaimed poet, Rachel Rose never expected to spend her nights careening along for the ride while the police teams search for armed suspects. Yet once she decided to meet the people who devoted their lives to police K9 units, she found herself signing up for the ride-alongs, training runs, and other challenges that these courageous people–and canines–face on a daily basis.

In The Dog Lover Unit, Rose introduces readers to police dogs and their handlers in the United States, Canada, Britain, and France (where their group's official name translates as "the dog lover unit"). She’s there to catch a criminal with Constable Matt Noel and Blackie; to patrol with Sheriff Gene Davis and Gunner; and writes movingly about the tragic funeral of Constable Dave Ross, and its impact on other K9 teams.

With insight, humor, and awe, this book reveals the feats that these human and canine teams accomplish, and the emotional and physical risks that they take for one another, and for us.
The Dog Lover Unit
Via: National Geographic
Our pet canines have alterations in their genes that make them more sociable than wolves, a new study says.