Dr. Temple Grandin is a world renowned expert on livestock and animal husbandry so if you’re not familiar with her you may be scratching your head wondering why she’s a keynote speaker at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia this year.
That’s because, when Grandin was a child, she didn’t speak until she was nearly four years old. In addition to livestock and animal behavior she’s become an expert on autism, the autism spectrum and the mind.
Dr. Grandin has given some amazing discussions on the topic of the autism spectrum and some of the misconceptions about it. She also passionately speaks about kids who get clumped into these classifications on the spectrum that run the gamut of the next Steve Jobs, to the 8 year old who can barely communicate at all.
Grandin brings to light the fact that for children to get help these days they need a classification. They’re given labels like autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or learning disability. Children may get one of those labels but more often that not they get multiple labels if not all of them at the same time.
“Parents get so worried about the deficits that they don’t build up the strengths, but those skills could turn into a job,” said Grandin,
Grandin believes that Steve Jobs probably fell somewhere on the spectrum, in fact she believes that many of the Silicon Valley elite are somewhere on the spectrum as well, and she’s probably right.
She also believes that if Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein were alive today they too would fall somewhere on the spectrum and because of that we would have never reaped the benefits of their genius work.
All of this is brought together in an amazing discussion that Dr. Grandin has given as a Ted talk. She is will be talking on these topics at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia on November 3rd from 10:15-11:15 am in Hall D, 200 Level.
There are several links on the web to watch some of Dr. Grandin’s discussions. There’s also an HBO movie about her life called, Temple Grandin, definitely worth checking out. It will be a fascinating talk, and although some might feel it’s more suited for a K-12 conference, higher education is where many educators will have the last chance to work with the genius minds before they go out in the real world.
Do you have your EDUCAUSE registration yet? Click here.