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Temple Grandin, noted animal scientist and autism advocate, to speak at WWU

Temple Grandin, a renowned professor of animal science and autism advocate, chats with attendees during a book signing in Fresno, Calif., Sept. 9, 2016. Grandin is scheduled to give a free talk at Western Washington University on Tuesday.
Temple Grandin, a renowned professor of animal science and autism advocate, chats with attendees during a book signing in Fresno, Calif., Sept. 9, 2016. Grandin is scheduled to give a free talk at Western Washington University on Tuesday. The Fresno Bee

Temple Grandin, a renowned animal scientist widely recognized as the world’s most successful person with autism, will give a free talk on the Western Washington University campus.

The question-and-answer discussion is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Western’s Performing Arts Center, and is free and open to the public, the university said. The talk, titled “How Families and School Can Support Individuals with Autism,” does not require registration or a ticket, WWU said.

Those planning to attend should allow for extra time to find parking.

Grandin’s campus talk precedes a sold-out event at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Baker Theatre.

Grandin’s notability is twofold. A designer of livestock-handling facilities, her methods to reduce animal stress are used so widely in the industry that nearly half of all cattle in the U.S. are handled in facilities she designed, according to Grandin’s website. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

But Grandin’s talks on autism have made her an influential voice for others on the autism spectrum. Grandin herself did not speak until she was 4 years old, instead communicating by screaming, peeping and humming, WWU said. She was diagnosed with autism in 1950.

Grandin has made appearances on a variety of cable news and talk shows, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010. An eponymous HBO movie about Grandin’s life story, starring Claire Danes, won seven Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, among others.

Grandin has written 17 books, according to her website, about both autism and animals.

Grandin’s talks are co-sponsored by the Ershig Assistive Technology Resource Center at WWU’s Woodring College of Education, and the Bellingham School District.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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