Early in childhood, Dr. Temple Grandin's was diagnosed with severe Autism. Dr. Her daily routine mainly consisted of constant panic attacks, a direct result of the daily struggle to contend with a barrage of sensory stimuli that her autistic mind could not sort out.
When she was born, in 1947, doctors didn't even have a name for her condition. Through constant introspection she grew to learn what makes her unique and became the first person to put into writing what it feels like to be an autistic person. Her first book, an autobiography, caused in immediate sensation. "In the world of Autism she is an international celebrity" - those are the first few words in a documentary aired on BBC titled "the woman who thinks like a cow".
Through her research into animal behavior and her study of her own mind, she realized how similar the autisic mind behaves like that of a cow: ever so slight visual stimulation directly triggers instinctive behaviors such as fear. In her first job as a twenty-something year old, working at a large slaughter facility, she hypothesized the reason cows were under distress did not have anything to do with the notion they were "going to be killed" but that the design of the handling facility was at fault. So we walked through the facility in the same path as the cows do and observed shadows, noises, lights and corner turns. Her work is now widely admired in the cattle management industry and has greatly contributed to humane treatment of cattle.
Watch Dr. Temple Grandin's appearance at TED, the world famous conference on thought leadership in her talk titled "The world needs all kinds of minds"
And watch the BBC documentary "The Woman Who Thinks Like A Cow"