Saturday, April 10, 2010

HBO's Temple Grandin

I loved loved loved HBO's movie about Temple Grandin. It aired a while back, but I only got around to watching it recently. For those of you who have HBO and missed it, I'm sure that they are still re-showing it. Dr. Grandin was diagnosed with autism in the 1950's when not much was known about the disorder. In spite of this, she is a huge success: a doctor of animal science (got her doctorate at my alma mater, U of I) and professor at Colorado State University. Watching the movie, my husband Steve was impressed that they found a child actor to play Temple Grandin in her early years. Steve has always been concerned that it would be difficult to find a child actor to "play autistic" in the movie version of our life. And that is definitely the only stumbling block to getting a movie made about our lives, so we are thoroughly relieved.

I had Audrey when I was 40 and she does not have any siblings, so her future is something that I worry about every day. I see the disabled adults wiping down tables at McDonalds or the exercise equipment at the gym, and then I see Temple Grandin. I realize that there is a wide gulf in between, and my hope for Audrey is that she lands more on the Temple Grandin end of the spectrum. Being a city girl, I would prefer that her future not include livestock and Western wear, but I realize that I am not in a position to be picky. As long as she is able to support herself and live independently, I will finally be at peace. I guess if I could somehow be guaranteed that, I could even live with seeing her in a bolo tie...


  1. I don't have HBO so I haven't seen the movie but it sounds good. I went to her website, she's doing a conference in Dixon, IL in July.. I think Mr. Smiles wants us to go :)

  2. I also LOVED this movie!! I did, however, cry from the very second it started until the credits. There were so many moments in the movie that hit so close to home... When the mom was wondering what was going to set her off, I feel that way often about Zach. I forgot to send his snack to school last month and he was angry until he went to bed that night. Also, the part where the note fell off the door, that would also send Zach into a frenzy. And the part of the movie where Temple was talking to the people at the party about the horses... Zach's current obsession is maps and when he meets someone he says, "Hi, I'm Zach. Where do you live because I will draw it." They have such single tracked minds... His fascinations do change over time though... Started with telephone poles, went to fire hydrants, then continents and now road maps. It keeps life interesting, right? :) Sorry for getting so far off track... To reiterate, loved the movie and appreciated your post.

  3. Erin, I know what you mean about not knowing what's going to set them off. Audrey's current obsession is Canadian geese and she gets upset when we don't pull over every time we see one, which is about every 10 yards around here. And I don't know about you, but we don't have anything like a "squeeze machine" that acts as an automatic bringer-downer.
    P.S.: I'm on Team Zach with the whole forgetting the snack thing :)