Temple Quotes to Move You


November, 2016

Temple Grandin

Over 700 Michiganders enjoyed a fired up lecture from Temple Grandin today in Lansing at the New Horizon’s Autism and Asperger Syndrome Conference. Temple Grandin is a world-renowned woman on the spectrum who is a professor, engineer, author, and sometimes controversial speaker. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear her speak, read her books, or see her biography, here are some of her ‘gems’ from today:

“Give the instruction, instead of saying no.”
Keep calm, resist the urge to react emotionally and tell a child how to do something.

“No sudden surprises.”
You can still stretch and expect more, just provide the rules and then let them ‘do.’

“Limit video games to 1 hour per day. Period.”
Some may need 30 minutes after school to regroup, but even those with potential will not be successful in life if they prepared by being a recluse in the basement.

“If Siri can’t understand you, then neither can your child with autism.”
Slow down and enunciate your words, it will help with listening and processing.

“Give time to respond.”
Individuals with autism may have language or attention shifting slowness. Give them a chance.

“Some are ‘Mono-channel.’ They can’t see and hear at the same time.”
Those with significant sensory challenges will tell you that making eye contact is too difficult if they are also trying to listen.

“Give people a ‘Pilot’s Checklist.’”
Do not overload an individual’s working memory, with multistep processes provide a step by step list.

“Bullies called me ‘Tape Recorder.’”
Exposure to more things, provides more data, more phrases, and therefore flexible language for those who use the same restricted phrases over and over.

“My only friends were in my special interest group.”
People respect ability, especially those with shared interests. Building, horseback riding, art, were among Temple’s interests just to name a few.

“Teach those guys like they are in a foreign country.”
Explicit teaching includes how to be a greeter, how to shop, order food, and what is taboo in a given community or country. In some countries, if you speak negatively about the government, you disappear.

“Don’t try to De-Geek the Geek!”
It doesn’t work, and they’re everywhere. Have you been to Silicon Valley?

“Eccentric is acceptable, being dirty and rude is not.”
You’ve got to clean it up. A basic rule system about courtesy, legal and moral behavior is essential.

“The Internet is a yard full of dog poop, you have to be careful where you walk.”
Individuals with autism have to be careful. Yet there are great free resources online, include free college level courses and technical teaching.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
It’s your body, your life, your family.

“We are all in construction, we’ve got to get this done!”
Temple is an inventor, builder, artist, and well-known in the farming industry, breaks down what we can tend to over-conceptualize. We need to approach autism both from top down expertise, but also bottom up.

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