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Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old. Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games.

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“Steve Jobs was probably mildly on the autistic spectrum. Half the people in Silicon Valley probably have autism.” As the number of children diagnosed with autism continues to rise nationally, Grandin is sharing her message about the disorder and “differently-abled brains” with packed houses.

Basically, you’ve probably known people who were geeky and socially awkward but very smart. At the heart of that message is this: Rigid academic and social expectations could wind up stifling a mind that, while it might struggle to conjugate a verb, could one day take us to distant stars. You’re going to have to give them special ed in reading because that tends to be the pattern, but let them go ahead in math.” Early diagnosis can lead to early intervention and access to special education programs, and, while crucial for children with speech delay, also means a permanent label that ultimately could impede progress, and the healthy development of a child’s identity.

“It hurts because they don’t have enough expectations for the kids. He has autism so he doesn’t have to learn things like shopping.” Grandin was raised by her mother in the 1950’s, a time when social skills were “pounded into every single child,” she said.

I see too many kids who are smart and did well in school, but they’re not getting a job because when they were young, they didn’t learn any work skills,” Grandin said. “Children in my generation, when they were teenagers, they had jobs and learned how to work. When I was 8 years old, my mother made me be a party hostess – shake hands, take coats, etc.

“And, if a cure for autism were found, she would choose to stay just the way she is. “If you totally get rid of autism, you’d have nobody to fix your computer in the future.” If algebra had been required course for college graduation in 1967, there would be no Temple Grandin.

At least, no Temple Grandin as the world knows her today – professor, inventor, best-selling author, and rock star in the seemingly divergent fields of animal science and autism education. Why does algebra have to be the gateway to all other mathematics?Labels such as autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder or learning disability are often applied to the same child.In older children with no speech delay, the diagnosis sometimes switches back and forth between autism and ADHD.This will teach both discipline and responsibility.It improved my self esteem to be recognized for doing a job well.” “The skills that people with autism bring to the table should be nurtured for their benefit and society’s.” Grandin said. In fact, it kind of blows my mind how irrational human beings are,” She said.She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and both masters and doctoral degrees in animal science.

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