Temple Grandin was born in Boston, and was diagnosed with high functioning autism when she was 2 years old. She didn’t talk until the age of four, and like many children who are different, found fitting in to her neurotypical peer group difficult. In 1965, at the age of 18, she invented what she called a hug machine, or squeeze box, which she designed to alleviate stress through application of deep pressure stimulation. The pressure is similar to a hug, but not as overwhelming as hugs given by other people. The device, inspired by her observation that cattle being prepared for inoculation grow calm when they are confined in a so-called squeeze chute, is still in use today in several therapy programs around the country.
Today, Temple Grandin is a doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University. She is a leader of both the animal welfare and autism advocacy movements. In the Spring of 2012, she addressed an audience at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
Listen (2 hours, but worth it!): Temple Grandin – My Experience With Autism: A Medical Look at How People with Autism Think