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The film that I chose to do my film analysis on was Temple Grandin. This movie is about a young woman who was diagnosed as an infantile schizophrenic, or in other words, autism. This movie shows when she was diagnosed with autism, how she was in school, and how her mother, teacher, and aunt supported her throughout the years. Temple Grandin lived with her aunt and uncle on their ranch one summer. Temple became very interested in cattle. Later in her life, she graduated with a Ph.D. and as an expert in the field of animal husbandry. Today, she is a professor at Colorado State University and she is a speaker on autism and animal handling.
According to Neil K. Kaneshiro (2010), autism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. Autism affects boys three to four times more than girls. Most parents of that have children with autism suspect that something is wrong by the time the child is 18 months old and try to get help by the time the child is age 2. Children with autism typically have difficulties in social interactions and verbal and nonverbal communication. Some children with autism appear normal before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly regress and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. People with autism may be sensitive in sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste. They may also perform repeated body movements and show unusual attachments to objects. People with autism can develop language slowly or not at all or they can repeat words or memorized passages. Autistic people sometimes do not make friends; they are withdrawn, and may not respond to eye contact or smiles. Their behavior may include them acting up with tantrums, show aggression to others or self and a lot of autistic people have very little interests.
In the movie, Temple Grandin saw this “machine” that her uncle and other cowboys put cattle in. This “machine” squeezed the cattle’s body and also held their head still. This “machine” helped calm the cattle down so that the uncle and other cowboys could give them shots or other medicine. One day, Temple went inside to her bedroom and noticed that the sign on her bedroom door was taken down. The sign said “Temple Grandin’s Room.” This sign was placed on the door so that way Temple knew that that was her room and no one else’s. She got upset and started crying and ran to the “machine” that calmed the cattle down. Her aunt ran after her and Temple told her aunt to pull the two levers so that the “machine” would squeeze her. The “machine,” to Temple, felt like a hug. Throughout her life, she never let anyone touch her or hug her, but in reality, that is what she really needed to calm down. So, she built her own “hug box,” that’s what she started calling it, and she used it every time she got upset or felt like she needed a hug. Today, her creation of the “hug box” is recognized as a way of relieving stress in autistic children.
Temple Grandin did not start talking until the age of four. The fan in Temple’s bedroom affected her hearing. The noise that it would make made her heart beat super-fast and she would get overwhelmed, start crying, and run to her hug box. Autistic people can repeat words or memorized passages. In the movie, Temple was driving in a car with her aunt and she kept repeating a phrase from a TV show that she had watched.
In the movie, they did show when Temple was a little girl and she was having tantrums in the doctor’s office. Autistic people have very little interests and Temple’s interests only included science and cows. She loved science. Also, she studied cattle and that is what she loved to do.
Temple’s story was very interesting and fascinating. I loved the movie and it taught me a lot about people who have autism. I always hear that so and so has autism or that child has autism, now I have some background knowledge about autism and I can put it into perspective.
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