Beyond Tutoring is proud to present our readers with this FunDay Sunday movie review, guest written by Molly’s mom.
Temple Grandin 1
Most people watch movies for entertainment reasons. That’s why I first saw the movie Temple Grandin. It was a moms’ movie night – our sanity-setup for summer vacation. All the neighbors leave the kids and husbands at home every week or so over summer vacation and kick back. This time, my next-door-neighbor had picked the film and gave me a direct wink. Having never heard of the movie or the woman before, I didn’t understand the wink. A few, short minutes later, I understood and so much appreciated that wink.

Temple Grandin is a (auto)biographical account of the childhood, raising, education, experiences and successes of an extraordinary woman by the name of Temple Grandin. Claire Danes expertly plays the main character, while Julia Ormond does an equally fantastic job as her mother. The cast and roles are fantastically done and extremely believable the entire way throughout the film.

Back to the wink… My daughter, Molly, while not officially “on the spectrum” exhibits many of the non-standard behaviors shown in this movie. In turn, I often exhibit many of the frustrated reactions shown by Temple’s mother. Being able to take a step back and observe this from the outside, so to speak, was a life-changing experience for me. I have taken her “Different, not less” motto with me to school meetings. I have tried so hard to understand my daughter’s different way of thinking, different needs, social frustrations, and wondering what her future will hold.

Temple Grandin 2Temple made it. She became an expert, both as a PhD in animal husbandry and as a speaker and author on the topic of autism. The resources and understanding available to her family, back in the 1950’s, is nothing compared to what is available now.

I’ve now watched the movie numerous times – with my husband, with my other children, and with an eight-year-old Molly on my lap. She even saw a lot of herself in the movie and saw how successful Temple became. It’s given me the gumption to push on; I now make more demands of the schools. I search out every possible avenue of help. I read books, I cruise the internet and I network like crazy with other moms.

So, were it possible to give this movie more than a 10/10, I absolutely would. As mother to a child who was at her wits’ end with a non-standard, semi-lableable child, I thank Ms. Grandin and the entire movie crew for giving me the strength, creativity and boost of determination to give my daughter every bit of help, while appreciating all the “special” she has to offer.

Don’t worry, I’ve thanked my neighbor many times over, too. 😉

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