Large crowd shows up to hear Temple Grandin in Bible Hill
Temple Grandin shared her insights on di erent ways of thinking, and a variety of other topics dear to her.
A sense of belonging – many crave it, not everyone acquires it.
Temple Grandin shared some of her insights on different ways of thinking, animal welfare and what’s needed in today’s world, when she spoke at the Dal AC campus in Bible Hill, Sept. 27.
Grandin’s presentation was part of the Belong Forums, designed to look at what it would take to create a world where people feel they belong.
“When I was a little kid I was a severely autistic kid,” said Grandin.
Today, she’s a professor, author, public speaker, and a consultant on livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare.
“One of the things I’m getting very concerned about today is a lot of students aren’t very good at hands-on skills,” she said.
“I teach a class in livestock handling and I’ve been finding the last five years that students are having more and more trouble doing the drawing assignment to design a cattle-handling facility because they’ve never used a ruler; and I’ve talked to a professor here that teaches a class in aqua where they have to draw a fish farm and they’re having exactly the same problem.”
Grandin feels children need to tinker with things, that their interests should be encouraged and expanded on. She also believes young people should have responsibilities. She had jobs sewing, cleaning out horse stalls, and working on her aunt’s ranch while growing up.
“I’m seeing too many people where their disability is becoming their whole entire identity,” she said. “A lot of people in my generation learned how to work at an early age
“I have a lot of granddads coming up to me and they’re finding
they’re on the autism spectrum when the kids get diagnosed, but granddaddy had a paper route at age 11.
“Manners and social skills were taught in a much more concrete way. When we made a mistake, we were told what we should be doing.”
When Grandin was young, she believed everybody thought in pictures – that’s the way she thinks. Now she recognizes that, along with visual thinkers, there are word thinkers and mathematical thinkers.
“The first step in figuring out how different minds can work together is realizing they exist,” she said.
“The thing about autism is, it’s just part of brain variability. In the milder forms, autism is simply a personality variant.”
Grandin has designed systems for livestock handling, intended to cause the animal the least stress possible. She is often hired as a consultant for the beef industry.
“I feel very strongly that we need to give animals a decent life,” she said. “A lot of problems are caused because people aren’t looking at what the animal is seeing. When simple things are changed, it often fixes the problem.”
While much of her work involved livestock, she’s concerned about all animals.
“We have dogs that can’t breathe properly, and pass out on airplanes,” she said. “Why are we breeding these? I have a problem with people breeding animals that aren’t functional? They’re a prime example of humans wrecking animals, and I have problems with that.”
Temple Grandin spoke at Dal AC, as part of the Belong Forum. She is a well-known animal scientist and a spokesperson on autism.