I first read about Temple Grandin during my music therapy internship several years ago, and I was completely fascinated.  The way she was able to describe her autism, and the way her brain worked, was completely unique and as far as I knew, unheard of.  I have since learned a lot more about Temple Grandin, and now, thanks to HBO, so have a whole lot of people who otherwise might not have.

On Saturday, February 6th, the full-length film Temple Grandin premiered, starring Claire Danes as the title character.  I had the opportunity to watch the film at The Autism Program of Illinois headquarters, which was a pretty amazing experience.  TAP and The Hope Institute for Children and Families (where I work as the music therapist) officially endorsed the film, and even sponsored its Chicago opening at the end of January.

Dr. Nyre, Hope’s President/CEO, was interviewed by several sources and spoke at the viewing I attended on Saturday.  I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion that this film should and will be used as a teaching tool in schools and facilities all over the country, because it provides such an accurate depiction of autism.  The film uses on-screen graphics to let us look into Ms. Grandin’s brain, to see the world as she sees it.

Have you seen the film yet? If so, what were your thoughts and reactions? I can tell you that by the end, there weren’t many dry eyes in the room where I was watching it. Claire Danes is amazing as Temple Grandin; in fact, you really do forget that you’re watching an actor, not the real deal. The film is educational and eye-opening, yes, but it is also extremely entertaining and touching. Take my advice and watch it.

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