Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How Autism Can Help Us Understand Animals

Interesting piece that aired earlier this year on NPR that has been rebroadcast about Temple Grandin and how autism helps her understand animals.

Temple Grandin is one of the nation's top designers of livestock facilities — and she also happens to be a person with autism. She uses her personal experience with the disorder to develop better ways to understand and communicate with animals.
Grandin tells Terry Gross that animals have emotions, including "fear, rage, separation anxiety and seeking." One of her first assignments as a consultant to the livestock industry was designing humane chutes to get the cows to slaughter, a task that drew on her understanding of the animal brain:
"[I] had to really understand how animals process information and how their senses compare to human senses because some things that would upset animals wouldn't upset us," she explains.

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