There are very few genuine mysteries left in our over-developed 21st century, but autism stands as one. The pervasive neurological disorder casts a punishing shadow over an ever-increasing number of families, yet the available science on its cause or the reason for its effects is about as advanced as earthquake prediction. This appearance by the brilliant autistic advocate Temple Grandin (yes, as depicted on HBO) is a critical event, not only for the thousands of souls touched by the condition but also parents, siblings, researchers and the public at large. Grandin's unique insight, impressively detailed in her new tome, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, brings equal measures of hope and understanding to a chronically baffling subject. The unlikeliest of mavericks, Grandin ranks as one of the most remarkable figures in contemporary American culture, a woman whose candor, eloquence and defiance of the supposed limitations of the disorder combine for an incalculably valuable perspective. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Wed., May 22., 7:15 p.m.; free, but reservations required. (213) 228-7000,

Wed., May 22, 7:15 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly