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Many of us know someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition characterized by speech and cognitive delays as well as behavioral challenges. The condition affects 1 in every 59 people, according to the CDC. Before the condition was practically a household name, Temple Grandin brought many of its aspects to light.

If you've never heard of Temple Grandin, you may be surprised by the impact she had on how we view ASD, as well as her impact on animal rights issues.

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1. She has Autism

Temple Grandin, born in 1947, was diagnosed with autism as a young child. She was unable to speak until the age of four and displayed unusual behaviors such as tearing the fabric off of furniture and spinning toys and other objects for visual stimulation. Doctors initially diagnosed her with brain damage and encouraged Temple's mother to institutionalize her. Instead, Temple's mother arranged for speech therapy and enrolled her in school. Although socializing in a school setting was difficult for Temple, she made her way through high school and ultimately graduated.

Matthew Eisman / Getty Images
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