"The new award, which will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Theater, honors a subject, director or actor in a film that sheds new light on disabilities and heightens social awareness. It’s named in honor of Utahn Kim Peek (1951-2009), who worked to increase awareness of disability through the media and improve education for children with disabilities. Peek helped inspire Dustin Hoffman’s savant character in 'Rain Man.'" (KSL)
"Childlike and beyond brilliant, with a charming sense of humor, Utahn Kim Peek, who died in 2009, was the mega-savant who inspired a Hollywood screenwriter, Barry Morrow, to create "Rain Man."
"The film won four Academy Awards and made Peek a celebrity who traveled the world with Morrow's Oscar, changing perceptions of people with disabilities. Thursday, that 'most loved Oscar' -- so named because more than 400-thousand people have touched it, will be given to Salt Lake City." KSLYou can learn more about the Real "Rain Man" in these next three videos about Kim Peek.
We had the privilege to be in attendance at the moving award night, were learned more about Kim Peek and Temple Grandin. Their wonderful and unique inspiration and contributions to this world are profound. Also in attendance that night was Barry Marrow and Francis Peek, Kim's unconditionally loving and devoted father, who presented the award to Temple.
After receiving the award, Dr. Grandin spoke to the audience, "The World Needs All Kinds of Minds". She encouraged the listeners to help those with autism overcome their challenges, focus on their strengths, and become someone remarkable and special. As parents, we left empowered and have a strengthened desire to keep at our honored role as parents to our special boys.
Like many in the audience, we stood in line to receive Temple's autograph, which she addressed to our boys. They were delighted to see it when we brought it home.
During her visit to Utah one of her several stops was at our son's school in North Salt Lake - "A lot of the kids I've seen here at the school are like a lot of kids I went to school with, they'd be just labeled geeky and nerdy, and there's many of these kids out in industry," Grandin said. "They are the kind of kids who keep your computer going --half of the NASA space scientists probably have been on the spectrum." KSL
“I want to emphasize, autism is a big spectrum ranging from somebody who is going to remain nonverbal all the way up to famous scientists,” Grandin said. “You would have no technical equipment here. You would have no hotel here if you didn’t have people that were interested in things. . . Because after all, who do you think made the first stone spear? It wasn’t the yackity yacks around the campfire, that’s for sure.” Temple Grandin, KSL