Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on January 12, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Autism advocate speaks in Edmonton
She’s an inspiration in the world of autism and she made a stop in Edmonton on Wednesday.
Temple Grandin is an advocate for autism and one of the most accomplished and well-known autistic adults in the world, made even more famous since a movie about her life was released last year.
Grandin spoke with Global Edmonton on Wednesday about her life and her ongoing mission: to improve awareness and conditions for animals and for those living with autism.
“Autism is a very big spectrum,” Grandin said. “Going all the way from people who are socially awkward to brilliant, geeks and nerds… but on the other end of the spectrum there are people who are very handicapped. The genetics is very complicated.”
Grandin is in town for a number of speaking engagements this week including talking about humane treatment at the University of Alberta and being the keynote speaker at the Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton’s 4th annual conference.
Her biggest advice for parents of autistic children is to develop your child’s strengths.
“If he’s good at art, encourage art. You need to take those interests and broaden them out. If the kid just wants to do pictures of trains, let’s do pictures of where the train goes, let’s do the train station, broaden the interest out. We can do English with trains, we can do math with trains,” she said. “Use those fixations to motivate.”
Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.
She’s an author, a speaker, has worked to design equipment for handling livestock and she’s even consulted Albertans in the livestock industry.
Actress Claire Danes portrayed Grandin in the 2010 movie based on her life, a biopic that won a number of Emmy awards.
This weekend Grandin will be at the Golden Globe Awards where Temple Grandin the movie, has been nominated for three awards.