Saturday, February 9, 2013


An Extraordinary Woman

Dr. Temple Grandin 
Meet Dr. Temple Grandin.  You may have heard of her, or maybe not.  I had the honor of a hearing her present today.  

Dr. Grandin is autistic.  Despite this, she has learned how to succeed and thrive in her career and personal life.  In 2010, HBO made a movie about her that bears her name, starring Claire Daines. She has also been included in TIME Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category.  If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it.

Dr. Grandin is amazing in that she is able to describe why her brain is different and how she has compensated for the missing functions of her brain.  Her insight into the autism spectrum is revolutionary.  

Below is a video which is a shortened version of what I learned today.  It's about 20 minutes long, but well worth it. 

In the era of "inclusion", I find myself hungry to learn more about children on the autism spectrum.  Who better to learn from than Dr. Grandin, who has written several books about autism?  Today she was very excited to tell us about her new book coming out in May.  I can't wait.

One of the messages that I came away with today is to focus on what autistic children CAN do and make sure that their fixation or talent is molded somehow into a meaningful job for the future.  

Dr. Grandin's presentation was very directive.  If your child is autistic:

  • Focus on nurturing their talents and giving them as many life experiences as you can.  
  • Determine and understand the limitations of their learning style. 
  • Push them outside of their comfort zones, but do so a little at a time.   
  • Expect that they adhere to  a schedule and learn how to live in a non-autistic world (table manners, taking turns, not touching things that don't belong to you, etc.).  
  • Severely limit video games (they do nothing to nurture their talents, unless it is educational or promotes fitness).  
  • Administer consequences to unwanted behaviors.  
  • Promote social acceptance by getting your child involved in activities that match their special interests.  

If you want to learn more about Dr. Grandin or know a parent that could benefit from this information, visit her website Temple Grandin


  1. I've never had the privilege of hearing Dr. Gradin speak in person, but I've enjoyed the several programs of and interviews with her I've seen on TV. She is one amazing and brilliant lady.


  2. Since my daughter has autism, I have heard of Temple Grandin. After viewing the video above, I found I have many of the same beliefs and passions as Temple Grandin. I look forward to learning more by going to her website. Thanks!

    1. Diane,

      She was so amazing to see in person. I had see the movie about her, but it was a real pleasure to hear her talk about her challenges and how she had to adapt to get along in the world. She credits her mother for insisting she socialize and for finding schools and organizations that helped her to pursue her interest in art. Thank you for stopping by!



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