Temple Grandin Presentation


Uploaded by universityofnevada on 19.12.2011

Transcript:
>>Good evening. Thank you all so much for being here. I know some of you traveled a great distance to attend this very special occasion.
It is such an honor to be here tonight with all of you who share with the University
of Nevada and the Autism Coalition of Nevada our mutual passion which is autism.
I want to thank UNR and ACON for all of the support and effort involved in putting this together. It means so much.
Autism is no longer about the occasional child you hear about at school, or in your neighborhood who has some sort of disability.
Rather, it has surged to the national forefront as a topic of supreme importance, catching
parents, physicians, scientists, and educators off guard with staggering statistics.
The University of Nevada and the Autism Coalition of Nevada both seek to raise
awareness and to make a difference in the lives of the families in this state.
UNR is keenly aware of the impact that autism is having on children developmentally and academically.
ACON is continuously advocating, researching and impacting legislation to make
certain that the needs of the people of Nevada are being recognized and addressed.
Tonight, we have a very special guest who reflects the amazing aspects of a life impacted by autism.
At three years old, she was speech delayed and socially challenged.
She was diagnosed with autism and her mother was told she should be institutionalized.
Instead, she went on to achieve a doctorate degree and has become a famous inventor, author, and worldwide autism advocate.
In 2010 she was named one of Time Magazines Top 100 Most Influential People in the Heroes Category.
Her achievements have not been in spite of her autism. They have been because of it.
People in her world wanted to change her, instead she has helped to change the world.
This incredible woman inspires us, and gives hope to everyone who has been touched by autism.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Dr. Temple Grandin. [APPLAUSE]
>> Temple Grandin:: It's really great to be here today. And I've got quite a few different things to talk about.
Going to talk some about autism, some about livestock. I think, first of all, I think I'll just talk a little bit about the autism spectrum.
It's a very big spectrum. And it's a continuous trait. You know, you disconnect some social circuits and then you get Silicon Valley circuits.
[LAUGHTER] Because Steve Jobs, I'm almost sure, was on the spectrum. I've read everything about him.
And when he gave his very first interview on TV, he was so nervous he almost vomited. And when I gave my first graduate school talk,
I panicked and walked out. So gradually get better. Einstein had no language until age three.
A lot of school systems would have diagnosed him as autism. Then you get down the other end of the spectrum where you have very severe autism.
Where they are nonverbal. They have many, many problems, maybe epilepsy and other medical problems on top of autism. So it's a huge spectrum.
And where a little bit of it brings you computers. Because who do you think made the first stone spear?
It certainly wasn't the social yackety yacks around the campfire. That's for sure.
[LAUGHTER] Now one thing I can't emphasize enough with autism is the importance of early intervention. If you have a young kid,
I don't care what label he's got, if he doesn't talk and he's doing a lot of weird behavior, not interacting, the worst thing you can do is nothing.
These little kids need at least 20 hours a week one-to-one teaching. You've got to teach them words. Teach them things like turn-taking.
I was really bad about turn-taking. I was taught turn-taking with a Parcheesi board.
And I'd go to take a turn and mother would say you have to wait for your sister to take her turn. So early intervention is really, really important.
So I think I'll get into my slides now. And if you want to understand animal behavior, you've got to get away from verbal language.
An animal's world is a sensory-based world: A world of thinking in pictures; a world of hearing, sounds, smell.
Think about all the information that the dog gets off a local fire hydrant. He'll know who was there, how long ago they were there.
It is just a coffee shop full of information. [LAUGHTER] But the thing about sensory-based information is it's very detailed. Extremely detailed.
So try to just imagine what it's like to not have words. And it's a very rich emotional world and cognitive world when there is no language.
But it's all sensory. Just try to imagine not having any words.
Now, there's evidence in normal human beings that language covers up things like
mathematics and visual thinking, because if you look at this Van Gogh painting,
Starry Night, got the twirls up there, some mathematicians got ahold of that and they said it followed a statistical pattern of water turbulence.
Now I don't think Van Gogh knew anything about mathematics, but he was painting it into his paintings.
There's also a type of Alzheimer's disease that as it wrecks the frontal cortex and it wrecks the language parts of the brain, art talent comes out.
So the visual thinking, the mathematical thinking, it's sort of hidden underneath language in most people. The autistic world is a world of detail.
The animal world is a world of detail. This is kind of a classic test of detail versus the whole Gestalt thinking.
You've got some big letters there made out of little letters.
And the autistic person is going to pick out the little letters much, much faster than the big letters. That's detailed thinking.
Now some research that was done at the University of Pittsburgh shows that the normal mind drops out the details.
Well, there's a bad detail in that slide up there. The guy's got a brain tumor. Maybe I need to get rid of that slide.
[LAUGHTER] That slide is kind of a mistake. But then I got so many people thought it was funny, so I left it in there.
[LAUGHTER] But what the researchers did at the University of Pittsburgh is they -- they put people in the brain scanner.
They started out with someone with autism, and they'd have them read out of a book and the functional MRI lights up just to the detail of the words.
Then they put Asperger. That's like a milder form of autism.
Reads out of the book and both the detail part and the syntax over the whole part lights up.
Now guess what happens when you put the normal person in there, all the detail drops out.
Well, I think it's one of the problems we have a lot of policy stuff today. It's all gotten too abstract.
Because there's a lot of important details. If you overlook some of these important details, you're really going to be in a whole lot of trouble.
Bridges are going to fall down if you don't pay attention to certain things.
Now the very first work that I did with livestock was to see why they didn't want to go through the chutes.
In this particular place, it's too dark in the chute.
They've got these like super environmentally correct water bottles, and I just pick it up and the water comes out.
I know they're environmentally correct, but they're really terrible and the whole floor is covered with water now.
Because I can't even lift the water bottle without it spilling.
[LAUGHTER] So the first work that I did was to see why in some places the cattle would go through the chutes and other places they wouldn't.
Well, it would be things like the flag is there waving. You've got rapid movement, high contrast of light and dark.
And too often they want to, like, tear down the whole facility when all they needed to do was simply move the flag.
Now, look at how that animal is looking right at that streak of sunlight. They notice details.
If you're trying to drive cattle down the alley, you may just stop at the streak of sunlight. Most people don't see these things.
I give people verbal checklists on how to find these things, but they still don't see them.
So I would get down in the chutes to see what the cattle were seeing and look at the things that will make them balk. You've got shadows.
You've got people there. You've got to look for the details. And sometimes the most obvious is the least obvious.
Now, when I first started working with cattle, I thought everybody thought in pictures. I didn't know that my thinking was different.
I thought everybody thought the same way that I think.
And later on in the mid-nineties, when I started working on my book "Thinking in Pictures," I realized that there are other ways of thinking.
Now one question I get asked over and over again is: Do the cows know they're going to get slaughtered? So I went to the Swift plant.
I watched the cattle going up the chute. In the movie they turned it into Abbott because they couldn't use Swift name, because it still exists.
But that old Scottsdale feed yard where I got kicked off for being a girl, we could use their name because they got bulldozed 25 years ago.
Their name got used. I watched the cattle going up the Swift plant. Then I would go out to the feed yard, I watched the cattle going up the chute.
They behaved the same way in both places. If they knew they were going to get slaughtered, they ought to be a lot wilder at the Swift plant.
I found they were afraid of things like it's too dark. There's a reflection. There's a chain hanging down.
I've gone into a lot of meat plants now and I'm amazed how I can fix them with a portable light, duct tape and cardboard.
You just cover up the right things that cattle are afraid and then they walk up the chute.
Tape a light on the entrance of the chute; they go right in. Sometimes can't believe it works as well as it does.
Look at the things like the detail in the animal's posture. Look at how the horse and zebra have an ear on each other. What are the ears doing?
What are the eyes doing? Next time you look at your dog, what's he looking at. What's he paying attention to? I want you to just look at it.
Try to think about how the animal is experiencing something. Now, I'm a totally visual thinker.
This is a picture a young man sent to me to show how he had movies in his head. I thought everybody had movies in his head.
Sometimes the most obvious is the least obvious. And I've been reading all the stuff about the Japanese nuclear power plant.
And I'm going: How could they have made the mistake that they made? I began to realize that they didn't see it.
Doesn't make too much sense to me, when you live next to the sea, to put the power generators, the emergency
generators that run the emergency cooling pumps, when everything breaks, in the basement when you're by the sea.
Because what do you think happens to those diesels when they get under water? Well, they don't work.
And that's why four nuclear power plants blew up. Now, it's like so obvious. I'm like going: Duh. Now I'm realizing the visual thinker sees that.
Where the mathematician, don't know how to design a nuclear reactor, I do know diesels don't work under water very well.
And I wouldn't put them where they could get underwater.
This is where I'll be talking a little later on about the importance of different kinds of minds. But everything is like a movie in my head.
And the HBO movie did a really great job of showing how I think in pictures. And, by the way, it's available on Amazon. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] Now,
I realized my thinking was different when I asked people about church steeples. And I was really shocked at what I learned.
I said think about a church steeple, how does it come into your mind? And I was shocked to learn that most people get this vague, generalized image.
I don't get a generalized image. I only get specific ones. I'm going: Wow, you mean you get a generalized, vague, generic steeple.
Now if I ask you house or car, most people will say house or car.
If I ask you something you don't own like a factory, something like that, maybe
the Post Office, a lot of people tend to get a much more generalized image.
Well, I just get specific ones. And they kind of just flash up into my mind like a series of slides.
And I can -- let me put them up there like that.
And if I hold it there and go you want a snowstorm there, you want a thunderstorm there, what do you want?
See if I can drink out of these water bottles, I can't even pick them up without them squirting all over the place. It starts out as still pictures.
They come up as a series of still pictures. If I hold one of them, I can turn it into a video.
Now, being a visual thinker really helped me in my work with livestock. Because I could test run things in my head.
I didn't know that other people couldn't do that. Well, it didn't get me very many friends when I told other people they were stupid.
[LAUGHTER] Now, I realize it's not stupidity, it's different ways of thinking.
And there's a scene in the movie where they ruin my dip vat design, my nice non-slip ramp, put metal on it,
drown the cattle in there, because they just didn't understand how the cattle could just walk down the ramp.
That actually happened, just like the movie showed it. Now my center track restrainer for meat plants they have the exact same kind of ramp.
Non-slip. And guess what happened? One plant cut it off. One plant took all the cleats off and made it slippery. We jam the cattle together.
You don't have to do that.
I think they just can't see how the animals could just walk in there if you just have it right from a behavior standpoint. They don't see it.
Because they weren't maliciously trying to mess it up. They thought they were fixing it.
And there's an aerial view of the dip vat they built for the movie.
The geek side of me really likes the fact they duplicated all my projects exactly right. There's one of my drawings.
When you're really weird, and people think you're really super weird,
I was super weird in the movie, but when I whipped out one of my drawings, people went, oh, you did that?
So one of the things I learned is I learned to sell my work.
I have a really nice portfolio of drawings and photos of jobs and I'd show those things to clients and that's how I sold projects.
One thing I did find, it was a lot easier to sell them the thing than it was to get them to operate it correctly.
The last 10 years I've been working on getting them to operate it correctly. After I started working on the McDonald's Animal Welfare Program.
I was not so involved in the chicken thing. Some of you may have heard about that.
And there's a drawing of the dip vat system that I did at the Red River Feed Yard.
I teach a class where I have students draw livestock handling facilities. You might want to know the curves.
Cattle have a natural tendency to go back where they come from. You want to use that natural behavior.
And I have to teach my students how to look at the lines on the drawing and relate that to the actual thing.
So I'd switch them back and forth like this. And that's something I had to teach myself.
And I was lucky enough to get the whole, great big blueprint for the whole entire swift plant.
Everything. Parking lots, the water tower, everything, and I walked around that plant and about
three days with that drawing until I could relate every line on that drawing to a real structure.
Like a big circle is the water tower. A little square is a concrete column that holds up the roof.
And then I could look at the drawing and start seeing the picture. And there's the actual thing.
Now, I noticed a weird and rather disturbing thing: As the industry switched in the early nineties from hand drafting to computers.
And when the old people switched over, their drawings are really good.
But we had some young people came in that had never drawn by hand and they've never built anything.
And they started making strange mistakes on drawings. They weren't seeing their drawings.
Like they didn't put the center of a circle in the center of a circle because they had never drawn a circle with a compass.
You have to touch stuff. I had a chance to go out visit Pixar and other creative companies. Really interesting.
And I talked to them about this problem. They said that sometimes they've got to get them off the computers and just get them drawing.
Now they have a thing called a 3-D printer so they can like make the little Buzz Lightyear
whatever figure in the computer, and then there's this machine, they can print them.
Come out in the little sculpture about this high that's a little statue of the thing you drew.
And I noticed that they had these little statues around the computer in their cubicle. Why? So they could hold them. You see that's -- that touch.
That feedback. If you don't get that touch feedback, you don't see things right. And I found this happened with every single major meat company.
Every time I investigated where the drawing came from, it was some guy in his 20s, never drawn by hand, never built anything.
This is why you need to do stuff with your hands, teach the eye to see correctly. And today in the New York Times,
I read an article about fancy sets of blocks, you know, you can get kindergarten kids to play with to learn how to put things together mechanically.
Now some little kids, autism and some other labels, often sometimes show up with drawing skills young.
I'm a big proponent of building up the talent areas. The skills tend to be uneven. This happens with other labels, too, like dyslexia and ADHD.
Don't get hung up on these stupid labels. They are just behavioral profiles. [APPLAUSE] And they are getting ready to change the labels.
This diagnoses are not precise. You've got doctors sitting in conference rooms having giant fights deciding on how to change the labels.
Like in the DSM-V, they'll have social communication disorder. I call that a good way to get out of having to pay for services.
[APPLAUSE] Nobody sits around a conference room and argues over the diagnosis for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is tuberculosis.
You do a lab test, they can tell you exactly what kind of tuberculosis you have. So whatever the kid's good at, build it up.
My ability in art was really encouraged. I had a tendency to just want paint horse heads and draw horse heads all the time.
Mother said: Let's maybe do a beach. Take that ability and broaden it out. Let's say the child wants to do airplanes all the time.
Let's do the airport. Let's draw where an airplane goes. Take that thing that he's fixated on and broaden it out.
We've got to start thinking more about what are they going to do when they grow up. Also, kids need to be taught work skills.
They need to be taught things like how to be on time.
I think it's bad that kids don't play in like, three kids getting together and just making up their own games.
Because that's a skill you're going to have to have when you grow up, these things like workgroups at work. You have to get along.
You learn that when you're very young.
Now, I used to joke around that I had a huge Internet connection in my brain that went deep into the primary visual cortex. And, yes, I do.
Big, huge trunk line. When I got these scans back, it was like, oh, wow, that explains my visual thinking. Now, there's another kind of thinking.
It's not my thinking. It's more the classical, visual, spatial thinking. Think origami.
Think organic chemistry, molecules and geometry and things like that. And that praying mantis is made out of a single sheet of folded paper.
No taping. No cutting. What you see in the background is the pattern for folding that. See, that's the pattern thinker.
That's the mathematics mind. That's the guy who is going to design the reactor, but I think I better design the safety systems.
[LAUGHTER] As I can imagine, everything stupid people can do with equipment.
I used to have a saying when I was working out in construction all the time, working on supervising installation
of some of my facilities: Never underestimate the laziness or stupidity of people operating equipment.
And that's certainly was what happened at Chernobyl. They turned off the safety systems to test them. That's what they did. Not kidding.
That's what they did. Now if that isn't super stupid, I don't know what is. That's not something I would do.
[LAUGHTER] This is a really important slide. This is my slide on the different kinds of thinking.
When you get into autism, these tend to get very extreme. In so-called normal people, this gets less extreme.
I'm a photolistic visual thinker, what's called an object visual thinker. I couldn't do algebra. Nothing there to visualize.
Just didn't make any sense.
There's a number of kids that can't do algebra but they can do geometry or trig, and they need to be jumped to geometry and trig.
The other kind of mind is the pattern thinker. This is your little mathematicians; they often have trouble with English.
You know, normal people you can get more mixtures of these things. Then you have the word thinker.
This is the kid that likes all the weather reports and he knows all the facts about his favorite things and he likes history.
And some people are auditory thinkers, especially if they've got problems with the visual system. There will be an auditory thinker.
I had a dyslexic student. She was a total auditory thinker. You get into all the arguments about different kinds of educational methods.
Well, you know, some things work for some kids and some things don't work for others.
And we need to be thinking about how the different kinds of minds can work together. All right. Let's go back to Steve Jobs. He did the art.
He did the user experience. The engineers have to make the insides work.
And on the iPhone 4, there was a little problem with an antenna design where if you
hold it, because your hand went against the antenna, it messed up the reception.
This is where it wasn't quite a good enough coordination between the art and the engineering. Because you need to have both.
Now, they have really good things. Now, how do you form a concept when you just have all this specific information floating around in your head?
It's by specific example. That's what's called bottom-up thinking. Now, most people it's top-down.
You get some highfalutin theory that's so far away from reality that it doesn't translate right to the ground.
If somebody said to me: How would you improve the schools? Well, let's go look at specific schools that are really good.
We'll put them over in this category. And look at some that are really horrible and put them in this category.
What are some of the common denominators of good schools and bad schools?
It would be done by specific example, rather than trying to take a theory and trying to cram everything into it.
Reading this article today in the New York Times about the blocks, yeah, that's
great, but I don't think we're going to have a whole block-way of doing education.
I think that's just absolutely absurd using blocks for teaching foreign language. I don't think so.
That's just making a theory that's going too far. That's just ridiculous. But everything I learned specific example.
You know, if you're working with training your dog, if you just teach your dog to sit in the kitchen, he might think it only applies in the kitchen.
You gotta teach him in many different places.
You want to teach this kid not to run across the street, you have to teach him in many different places. It's bottom-up thinking.
It's one of the most important things working with animals and working with some individuals on the autism spectrum. A dog has categories.
When I'm on the leash, I protect my owner. When I'm off the leash, I can play.
Now there was this other dog that belonged to a truck driver, it was a husband of a really good friend of mine.
If that dog was in the cab, boy, he'd rip your hand off if you tried to go into that cab.
But if you called the dog out of the cab, then he was friendly. So when the truck went to the mechanics shop, they would call him out of the cab.
Otherwise, he would have ripped the mechanics all up. But it's specific to general, rather than the other way around.
Another common problem you can get with animals is fear memories that are associated with things
that they were looking at or things that they were hearing right when something bad happened.
Like there was an elephant that was terrified of diesel-powered equipment. Well, if it was the diesel engine, that was bad.
If they had a gas engine, it was good, because the sound of the diesel was associated with something bad.
There was a horse that was deathly afraid of black cowboy hats.
Because when he was looking at a black cowboy hat, that's right when something really bad happened. They'll tend to get these memories.
Sometimes they don't make much sense.
Like a dog might get afraid of where he was hit by a car because that's what he was looking at right at the moment he got hit.
Now horses and cattle both differentiate between a man on the back and a man on the ground.
And you might have cattle that are very, very tame and easy to handle when worked by a person on a horse.
But if you walked out amongst them on foot, they just scatter. You see, it's a different picture.
So the people walking out amongst them, that's something new and novel, where the horse going out there was something familiar.
You see, the thing about a new experience with animals, if you just shout in their face in a confined area, it's scary.
Let's say you put something novel out in the middle of the pasture, where they can voluntary approach, they'll all come up to it.
The Holstein heifers, they'll eat all the hydraulic hoses off the tractor. That's the kind of things they'll do.
Novelty is both scary and attractive. It's attractive when they can voluntary approach, and it's scary if you just suddenly frighten them with it.
Horses can get in a situation where, if they had a bad experience with a horseshoer,
they might be really bad about veterinarian, any kind of work you do on the ground.
Would be good for riding. If they had a bad experience with a rider, they'll be fine just for veterinary work on the ground.
See, this is a specific. See, word thinking is a lot less specific. Animals are into very specific.
And the thing is, it's bottom-up rather than top-down. So how do you form a concept?
You've got to put a lot of specific information into file folders. Okay. Here's some examples here. You can have a kite that's up in the air.
You can walk up the stairs. A plane flies up in the air. You've got to give different examples of up.
Because if I just used the word "up" for going up the stairs, well, then I wouldn't understand it for some other uses like picking up a cup.
Even picking up your room. Gotta pick the junk up off the floor. That's picking it up. You know, teach number concepts with real things.
You know, you can have three notebooks. Three pennies. Three cars. Three people. Three bottles. Numbers apply to many different things.
Teach fractions by cutting up an apple. Do proportions with -- cooking is a really good way to teach numbers.
So how do you understand really big numbers? Like all the money that was in the original bailout.
[LAUGHTER] How do you understand these amounts of money like a billion dollars? $100 billion. Well, our airport in Denver cost five billion.
That will give you everything except the airplanes and all the little vehicles they drive around underneath the airplanes and the rental cars.
Gives you everything else. Rental car offices and everything. Cargo buildings. And our airport's worth five billion.
So 100 billion is 20 Denver airports. And maybe a few more Reno airports. And but bailout money was equal to two big airports for every state.
Now if we started taking these things converting, it to minute DIAs,
Denver International Airport, units, that puts it into something where normal people
can actually put their head around it, to get some idea of what this is worth.
You know, it all went into a black hole to keep the banks from not going into a black hole.
Just think of all the infrastructure and jobs they could have done with two airports worth of money in every state.
It just makes me absolutely sick. But I'm somebody who is into actual, real things. I'm not into the abstract. I'm into real stuff.
Now, there's the horse that was terrified of black hats. Now, the thing is if I put the hat down on the ground, it was less scary.
And then as the hat got closer and closer and closer to my head, it got scarier and scarier.
You see it was getting to be a closer match to the picture. When the black hat was up here, it was bad. White hats, no problem at all.
Now, I'm kicking myself that I didn't get this big black purse I had out of my
car and put it on my head, because I think that would have had the same effect.
That would have been enough -- that probably would have scared him, too.
Now, we need to think about different kinds of minds and think about how they can work together.
Another thing we need to be doing with some of these kids on the spectrum is,
13 years old, some of these Asperger kids, they need to start learning some job skills. When I was 15, I cleaned out nine horse stalls every day.
And when I was 13 I did a sewing job. I was 15, 16 years old I built that gate you could open up from the car.
You need to use your skills to do stuff that other people want.
And you might wonder on autism, so much autism today, some of it with Asperger's is increased diagnosis, because all the old Aspes are
now coming out of the woodwork when their grandkids end up having autism diagnosis and they go: I think I might have that, too.
And this is where a '50s upbringing helped because they pounded in the social rules. You were taught how to shake hands.
You were taught how to say please and thank you. You were taught how to take turns. The normal kids, they muddled through it.
The Aspergers have a lot more problems.
We have to figure out how to work with different kinds of minds because some of the best
projects I've ever worked on you had the different kinds of minds working together.
I've used co-authors on a number of my books, because one of the problems with the visual thinking is I don't organize well.
I've got to have a co-author for the structure. And working on another book right now on cognition.
And I was talking with Richard Panek, who is going to be the co-author. We were trying to figure out how to integrate other stuff.
He said you have to make sure we don't wreck the flow. I have learned how to,
I call it putting the ornaments on the Christmas tree without wrecking the flow. We want to help students be successful.
It makes me really happy when I have kids write to me and say,
"Well, your book's motivated me to go out and do things." Because it's the people that
are kind of different that are going to figure out how to solve the energy crisis.
You know, we're short on engineers in this country. We're short on machinists. We're short on electricians, on a lot of the hands-on jobs.
It's where we need to be, you know, getting kids interested in things they can solve problems in the future. This is really bad,
I can't see my slides. I can't emphasize enough the importance of mentor teachers. Science teacher was shown very nicely in the movie.
And he got me motivated to study. Because now I had a goal. I wanted to become a scientist. And good teachers can make such a difference.
The only places where I wasn't teased to death was in the science lab and while I was riding horses.
Because the kids who were interested in these specialized things weren't the kids doing the teasing.
I could get away from that stuff and be with people that were interested in the same things I was interested in.
I think it's a shame that so many schools have taken out the hands-on classes. I think it's terrible.
These classes teach practical problem solving kids: Art, wood shop, sewing, cooking, welding, auto shop.
We have a shortage in this country now of auto mechanics and diesel mechanics. There's a shortage. They're not going to fix cars from China.
[LAUGHTER] if I hadn't had those kind of classes I would have gone absolutely nowhere. Those were the things that saved me.
Those were the things I was good at. Art was my favorite class when I was in elementary school.
We need to be working with different kinds of people. Figuring out how we can hire them.
I want to talk a little bit about some other work that I've done on improving slaughter plants. There's been some stuff in the news lately.
That was chickens. And that particular chicken place had a reputation of being the worst chicken supplier in the industry.
And those worst suppliers tend to get on the committees and water down the standards.
But I developed a thing called the American Meat Institute Guideline in 1997,
where I used really simple outcome measures to evaluate slaughter plants.
It was like traffic rules for slaughter plant behavior. Because if you don't make something very, very simple, they're not going to understand it.
And they didn't revolt, because it was simple. Let me tell you what they had to do.
If more than three cattle out of 100 bellow and moo when they're being handled, they failed. It's that simple.
When we first started out, you'd have 35 percent of the cattle bellowing because they were putting electric prods all over them.
If you had more than one out of a hundred fall down, you failed the audit.
When we first started out, only 30 percent of the plants could shoot 95 percent of the cattle on the first shot because their equipment was broken.
Broken. They simply didn't fix equipment. Now, that's gotten way up around 97, 98 percent. And the USDA has gotten a lot stricter.
But one of the problems is that the USDA is stuck with some regulations that are very vaguely written, with things like agitation and excitement.
I don't know what agitation and excitement in cattle is. I don't know how to train inspectors on that. I've trained tons of auditors.
What is minimize electric prod use. You know, you need to put numbers on it.
You need to get 75 percent of those cattle into the plant with no electric prods, they're going to fail audits. It's simple. It's like numbers.
It's like traffic. It's really worked. The thing is you're picking out a few critical points that measure a multitude of sins.
There's all kinds of things that can make them moo. Poke them with prods. Slam doors on them. Run other cattle on top of them.
Do all kinds of bad things. The vocalization is an outcome measure of bad things. So what would I use as an outcome measure for school?
First of all, get some internationally recognized tests.
The other thing is when they graduate, do they stay out of trouble with the law get and keep decent jobs.
And some people might go into technical fields. Others might go on to college and do things.
But keeping employment, decent employment, where they advance some. That's the ultimate outcome measure. That's the way I look at things.
Because I put the emphasis on what I can directly observe. Most people want to turn this into a paperwork audit.
Committees now, all this paperwork. No, there's certain things I want to directly observe.
But you gotta figure out: What's the important thing to directly observe? Well, nuclear power plants.
Better fix the safety system so they can't turn them off. Make it impossible to turn them off. That's one thing.
Put the generators where they aren't going to get drowned. Some very, very important things like that.
Airplanes. Again, when you do bottom-up thinking, airplane accidents.
Three things that can cause airplane accidents, really bad ones: The pilot messes up, weather, or something went wrong with the aircraft.
And in the last 20 years, when it's been something wrong with the aircraft, there's been five or six
accidents where the tail either fell off or really important steering stuff inside the tail broke.
So the pilot couldn't steer the plane. There's a lot of important tail stuff. So now being a visual thinker I'm now looking out the airport window,
I'm seeing the pilot walking around the plane. I'm going: Well, he can see all the broken stuff that might be in the landing gear.
So I'm not going to bother with inspecting that. I've got 10,000 zillion pilots doing it.
But the tail stuff is all inside the tail, you can't see it.
If there's something you want to do random inspections on, it's going to be looking inside tail stuff, because when the Alaska Airlines plane
lost its tail, they pulled this jack screw thing out of the water, had metal shreds on it, it hadn't been lubricated since the plane was built.
Maybe that's something you need to be looking at. That's a critical control point.
You see, when you use bottom-up thinking I'm going, okay, what are the things that are really important.
Only going to look at three or four things on an airplane,
I'm going to tell you right now, it's going to be tail stuff or I could summarize it with a single word. Tail. [LAUGHTER] It better not fall off.
Bits and pieces of it better not come off, and the things that steer the airplane that are inside the tail better work or you're in tons of trouble.
And it's going to have to be inspected in the hangar. No way the pilot is going to be able to see it. When I'm talking about this, I'm seeing it.
They don't let me walk up, do the pilot walkaround, so I'm at the window of the airport watching the pilot walk around the plane.
And I can see the tail of the plane. Obviously can't see the things inside there that can break.
You know, we need to be getting back to getting in touch with the ground. What's actually happening with stuff out there in the real world?
Well, there's me as, high school, doing the kinds of things I really liked doing. That was the kind of stuff I really thought was fun.
Cutting up a board there to make the gate. Now, I want to end up and just talk about a few sensory problems you can get with autism, dyslexia,
ADHD. Head injuries also get this. Problems like sound sensitivity. Loud sounds hurt the ears.
You can also get problems with visual sensitivity, where fluorescent lights flicker.
These sensory issues are very variable and can be really debilitating. Here's a little kid putting his hands over his ears. Loud sounds hurt.
If there's one place where they need to be doing research, it's on how to treat some of these sensory
problems, because they vary from being a mild nuisance to being absolutely totally debilitating.
And another problem you get, whenever there's a difficulty with the brain, is attention shifting slowness.
Like I still have problems with rapid movement and stuff in front of me. I have a hard time screening that out.
There's something wrong with the brain, slows down the processing speed. And some people, when they go to read, the print will jiggle on the page.
I'm finding, in a class of 50 students, I find one of these every single semester. They absolutely cannot draw.
Like if I ask them to just draw this like this, this is what they draw. And they have problems with driving at night. They don't like escalators.
The problem is really common. Tell you some simple fixes for this. Try printing your homework on different pastel paper, gray, tan, light blue.
Try playing around with the background on the computer colors. Maybe use a Kindle, because that reduces contrast.
Some people are helped with pale-colored glasses, pale pinks, pale lavender glasses.
I've had students go out sunglass shopping and had one lady came back said: I got an A on my economics
quiz because the print's not jiggling anymore and I can actually read the professor's PowerPoint slides.
I want to leave plenty of time to do questions. We'll have some microphones roaming around. If nobody has a question, I'm going to pick somebody.
So somebody better get their hand up right now. Okay. I'm going to pick -- right there.
>> Unknown:: Do you remember when you started being verbal and do you remember --
>> Temple Grandin:: I'll answer that. The question was: Do I remember the transition from being verbal to nonverbal?
I can remember the absolute frustration of not being able to talk. I had problems with speech output.
There's different kinds of speech problems you can have. And my problem is in speech output. In fact, my brain scan was shown on 60 Minutes.
And don't even think about doing that kind of scanning at the hospital. That was scanning paid for by the Department of Defense for veterans.
And it's a very special kind of scanning that sees sort of big interstate highways of neurons in the brain.
And you're supposed to have a four-lane highway for speech output. I'm down to a one-lane highway.
Other kids are like where they can yack out all the words but they don't know what it means.
Speech output is working fine but they don't understand it. I had some receptive language problems. When people talked really fast,
I could not hear hard consonant sounds. The hard consonants would just drop out. So my speech teacher, what she would is she'd slow down.
Like she'd hold up a cup and say c-uup and slow down and enunciate. Okay. Right here. You got it. Okay.
>> Unknown:: When you imagine things, it's obviously instantaneously. Do you have a problem with the patience in actually seeing it built in the real world?
>> Temple Grandin:: Seeing what built in the real world?
>> Unknown:: When you're imagine like your drawings.
>> Temple Grandin:: No, when I draw a drawing, I can actually see it built in the real world.
>> Unknown:: Right. But then to actually wait for it to be built, is that frustrating to you?
>> Temple Grandin:: No. It's kind of fun to watch it be built. I go down and make sure they were building it right.
No, it's really kind of fun to watch them make it.
>> Unknown:: What do you think about a child that is always holding his ears?
>> Temple Grandin:: Holding his ears because sound hurts his ears. That's why he's holding his ears.
>> Unknown:: Do you have any recommendations of things that might help that?
>> Temple Grandin:: Sometimes that can be helped if the child has control of the sound.
Okay. Let's say -- a real common one is they can't stand going into the supermarket. Especially when it's busy.
So if you let the child have control of how much supermarket he's going to have to tolerate. Like go in, he gives the signal you take him out.
But he controls the sound. Now, the only problem with putting it on a recording device is MP3 files are not a full spectrum file.
So it's better to use the real sounds. Or if you have an old record player, the old-fashioned kind, those have the full spectrum.
For electronic, you have to get really special things to get the full spectrum. So, okay, let's say you had an old smoke alarm.
Wrap it up in towels and you let him turn it on. You gradually take the towels off, where they control it. Sometimes they can be desensitized.
Other things that might help, magnesium supplements, fish oil supplements. We have an omega 3 deficient diet in this country.
And we're starting to get scientific reports back in that the omega 3 sometimes can be helpful. Sometimes auditory training works.
If you've got access to that.
>> Unknown:: Hi there. My son is 10 and he has -- I'm right here. I'm right next to the lady that just spoke.
>> Temple Grandin:: I can't -- the sound, I can't tell where it's coming from.
>> Unknown:: My son is 10, and he has high functioning autism, ADHD and sensory issues since he was little.
But he's deathly afraid of animals that aren't contained, like dogs and cats and horses. And it's very debilitating. And we have ABA therapy.
We're working on desensitization.
>> Temple Grandin:: First of all, you've got to figure out what is it about the animal is he afraid of. Is he afraid the dog will bark?
And if the dog barks, that hurts his ears. I get asked all the time should we get a therapy dog. Some kids are like instant best buddies with dogs.
Others warm up to them. There's others, they hate them because you never know when the cat's going to meow or the dogging going to bark.
First you have to figure out what aspect of the dog makes him afraid. Was he ever bitten by a dog?
That would be something that would make him afraid. Or is it the animal makes sudden movement, that bothers him visually.
Or it's all of a sudden it might meow and bark, hurt his ears. What do you think his problem is?
>> Unknown:: To my knowledge he's never been bitten. It's mostly the movement and the barking, like the noise.
>> Temple Grandin:: That's sensory. That is sensory.
Now, it might be good to work with an OT or somebody that can work with some of the sensory problems.
Sometimes some of these sensory problems, they kind of outgrow them. Now, with rapid movement -- does he like flags?
Because flags is a rapid movement that he can control. And that might help, get him to play with flags where he can control them.
Unfortunately, can't always control a dog. But flags, you know, I loved them. See, the thing is some kids love rapid movement.
I was actually attracted to flags. Other kids, like, hate rapid movement.
>> Unknown:: I don't know, I'll have to try that and see. Yeah.
>> Temple Grandin:: But you have to try to -- the thing with these kids, you've got to be gently insistent.
If you push too hard, there's no advancement. If you don't push enough -- if you push too hard -- I'm getting mixed up here.
If you push too hard, you get a meltdown. If you don't push at all, you don't get any advancement. Just remember: No surprises. Surprises scare.
But they oftentimes get this insistence of sameness, where you want to try some new things but you don't make it a surprise.
We're going to go to a new restaurant, might go to the website and get some pictures inside that restaurant. So they know what they're getting into.
That was done when I went out to the ranch. I was scared to go out to the ranch. But it wasn't a surprise. I knew about it three months in advance.
Best thing I ever did was worked out in the cattle business.
>> Unknown:: I'd like to know about college experience.
>> Temple Grandin:: College experience. I had a lot of social problems in the dorm. It was not easy.
But there are problems I'm saying kids in college have today that I did not have. Basic things like getting up on time. Not losing homework.
Finding buildings. You know, I think this gets back to kids not being taught enough basic skills. Like shopping. Doing laundry.
These things were not an issue for me. Tons of social problems. It wasn't easy.
But I was reading the other day about a kid that couldn't figure out how to buy his books at the bookstore.
I was buying comic books at the newsstand when I was like seven. And I knew I couldn't stand there and read them. I had to buy them.
And that I couldn't touch stuff that I wasn't going to buy. I learned these basic skills very early.
We had fancy sit-down Sunday dinners at my aunt's and grandmother's, and I had to behave. I was allowed to have my place to run off steam.
In my Aunt Bella's house, I could run up and down the hall after dinner and watch myself get bigger in the mirror.
Granny, lived in a fifth floor apartment. I could beat the elevator going in running up the fire stairs and beat the elevator going down.
Places to run off some steam. Otherwise, I had to behave. And most of the time I did.
And there's problems now that they aren't learning how to do enough stuff on their own.
And I'm seeing this with kids that are a lot less severe than I am. Driving. I get asked all the time about learning how to drive.
I did a year on easy roads before I went anywhere near a freeway, because what you've got to do is you've got to
learn because the problems of multi-tasking, you have to get to where the operation of the car goes on autopilot.
Steering. Braking. Using the gas. I started out on my aunt's ranch on dirt roads. Three miles out to the mailbox every day, three miles back.
And we started getting the operation of the car learned. And she had a really balky three-on-the-column balky clutch pickup.
It was not a easy car to learn how to drive.
>> Unknown:: Hi Temple. I teach film class at the local community college here, and I'm just wondering about the HBO film.
How much time did you spend with Claire Danes when she was trying to portray you, and what did you think about her portrayal?
>> Temple Grandin:: She did a fantastic job, and seeing her in that movie was like going into a weird '60s and '70s time machine.
[LAUGHTER] And I spent half a day with her. But she videotaped it. And then I gave her all these ancient old 20-year-old VHS tapes that I had.
Oldest stuff I could find. I spent a lot of time with Nick Jackson, the director, Emily Gerson Saines, the producer, and the writers.
And I spent quite a lot of time on cattle stuff. Made sure they had the right kind of cattle.
We can't have stupid city slicker things like Holstein cattle on a beef ranch. I mean, no way. [APPLAUSE]
>> Unknown:: Hi. I'm over this way.
My daughter is high functioning autistic, and one of the reasons why I didn't get her diagnosed early is because she was extremely affectionate.
And I was interested in your relationship with your mother. And I didn't know if you are affectionate with her at this point.
>> Temple Grandin:: Well, I had touch sensitivity problems where I didn't want to be hugged.
The squeeze machine broke like about five years ago, so I'm hugging real people now.
And the thing is -- [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] I think it's really important, like these kids that don't want to be hugged, to try to desensitize that.
Just remember tickle touches send off an alerting response. Deep pressure is calming. And that's actually one of the easier things to desensitize.
Often it's much easier to desensitize than the hearing sensitivity problem.
Now, gradually just try to hug me more and it got to where stopped having that tendency to pull away.
You see, again, it was oversensitivity in the nervous system. I wanted to feel the nice feeling of being held, but it was just too intense.
Okay. Right here.
>> Unknown:: How did you cope with anxiety?
>> Temple Grandin:: How did I cope with anxiety? One of the things, I got into high school. I started having horrible, horrible panic attacks.
And that's the reason why I built the squeeze machine in the first place.
Because it was just like, oh, imagine if you walked up in this theater, there was a lion and tiger walking around in here.
Well, you'd be worried about getting eaten. You'd be constantly vigilant: Where can I go so the tiger won't eat me?
And I watched cattle going through the squeeze chute for their vaccinations. And I noticed some of the cattle kind of relaxed.
I went tried out the squeeze chute on the ranch, and I found it calmed me down. So I built the squeeze chute-like device. And that helped.
Also lots of exercise. Lots and lots of exercise. I do 100 sittups every night on the bed, every hotel room, every single night.
And do I enjoy them? No, I hate them. [LAUGHTER] Now, as I went through my 20s, my anxiety got worse and worse and worse.
And I went on anti-depressant medication. Now, where anti-depressant medication really works is for anxiety.
Works much better for anxiety than it does for depression. Little tiny dabs of Prozac, that works well for a lot of people.
I'm taking an old drug called Desipramine. The thing is, when you're using anti-depressants for anxiety, much lower doses than the label.
The big mistake that's made -- and I've talked to 100 parents on this -- worked great on the low dose.
They double the dose, then you had agitation and insomnia. Doctors are raising doses when they should be lowering doses.
Oftentimes for anxiety you only need one-fourth to one-half the starter dose.
So like for Prozac, for example, the half starter dose would be ten milligrams.
For some of the other anti-depressants, look it up in the book, and divide by 2 or divide by 4 and maybe that's the dose that will work.
And I don't know why this seems to be a concept that people have a hard time getting their head around.
I read all the studies being done, and a bunch of people dropped out of this study. They had them overdosed on it.
That's why they dropped out of the study. I'm absolutely appalled at the amount of antipsychotic drugs being given out to five-year-olds.
Absolutely appalling. Things like Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, because the side effects are just horrendous.
I'd rather do something with special diets and some of those things on little kids. For anxiety, try something like Prozac.
The problem you've got with drugs like Risperdal and Abilify is they have horrendous side effects, like tardive dyskinesia,
Parkinsonian-like nerve damage and getting disgustingly obese, diabetes and problems with Proactin hormone problems, and all kinds of bad things.
Sometimes there's a place where you might have to use these drugs, like you have an older child, an adult, super aggressive.
That's where you use a tiny, tiny dose of Risperdal. Often really tiny. The other thing is you got really bad sound sensitivity.
I don't want to do this with little kids, but older kids, where the sound sensitivity is really horrible, is a microscopic dose of Risperdal.
So microscopic it will be hard to cut the pills up enough to get it small enough. And that can sometimes stop sound sensitivity.
Now, it's hard for doctors to get their head around not following a label. You see, that's a top-down thinking.
But I know one lady that couldn't do convention center. And she's doing a fourth of a milligram of Risperdal a day. One-fourth of a milligram.
That's a tiny microscopic dose, and she can do convention center. Now, if you're interested in the medication stuff,
I strongly recommend you get "Thinking in Pictures," and the second edition of "The Way I See it." Has to
be the second edition of the "The Way I See it," and read the medical sections in there very carefully.
Okay. Right there.
>> Unknown:: Hi. I wanted to know if you've taught yourself to eat more than jello, and if so --
>> Temple Grandin:: Now, the thing about the jello and the yogurt and all that stuff, is before I went on the anti-depressants,
I had horrendous colitis attacks. I would go on yogurt and jello because it was the only way to get the colitis attacks under control.
When I went on anti-depressants in my early 30s, guess what, the colitis went away. And a lot of splitting headaches I had went away.
I do eat a lot more things now. I still eat quite a lot of yogurt because it helps with some of my infection problems. [LAUGHTER]
>> Unknown:: Hi Temple. My name is Joyce. I have three sons with autism. They're 24, 20 and 13. And I might have autism myself.
I think in pictures all the time. My dad was a neuro space engineer at McDonnell Douglas, who never went to college, and he thought in pictures.
>> Temple Grandin:: That's the thing. I talked to a retired NASA space scientist, just had his grandson diagnosed with autism.
He said probably half the people that work at NASA are probably on the spectrum.
Seriously when you think about it, social people don't want to build rockets and the Apollo project and things like that.
We need to be getting some of these smart young Aspes get them solving the energy crisis is what we need to be doing.
But I want to emphasize: Not everybody on the high end of the spectrum is a techie.
Some of the art types, some of the real techie engineering types. Then you've got others that are the word types.
These are some that might be good at being journalists and things like this. And they definitely are not interested in technical subjects.
>> My question for you was:: With my family, we're having a really hard time going through college or
going through the education system because we have trouble writing from the way that we're thinking.
And I was wondering --
>> Temple Grandin:: When you say problems with writing, problems with handwriting or writing composition?
>> Unknown:: Writing composition, from what we're thinking. Because it doesn't really mesh with what we're thinking.
And I was wondering how you manage to write all those books with "Thinking in Pictures,"
and to me my pictures are like a million words that I try to put it on paper,
I can't figure it out when I brainstorm.
>> Temple Grandin:: Like if you go on grandin.com, that's my cattle website, everything on there I wrote myself. No co-authors there.
What I have to do to not ramble is break things down with an outline where I
do no more than two double-spaced pages for each subject on the outline.
Otherwise I ramble all over the place. And I've got to slow down. You know, describe the picture in my mind.
When I was a young child, we'd write compositions in English. Then the teacher would red mark and copy edit the work.
I never understood the rules of grammar, but the teacher would just copy edit it up and I'd have to go back and correct it.
I think one of the problems today is we're not doing enough writing assignments,
and even in college they did this, do a little three-page writing assignment.
The teacher would red mark it and go and correct it. That's how you learn how to write. Just having people copy edit work.
>> Unknown:: Hi. My question is about food. My daughter has aversions to food that she didn't used to have aversions to.
And it made me think of your example with the horse with the black hat. I'm thinking at some point there's something that happened.
How as a parent can I determine what might have set her off and how can I desensitize her?
>> Temple Grandin:: A lot of the food version things are sensory.
And one of the things you can do is get some of the -- put their favorite food on the plate and put some of the, a
little bit of something that she doesn't like, and gradually try to get her to eat some of the stuff she doesn't like.
And then reward her for it.
>> Unknown:: Thank you.
>> Temple Grandin:: Okay?
>> Unknown:: Hi. My brother has autism borderline Asperger's. How do I get him to talk? He likes to look at art and stuff, but he just doesn't talk.
How can I --
>> Temple Grandin:: So you say he's completely nonverbal?
>> Unknown:: For the most part, yes.
>> Temple Grandin:: Well, there's some people that are nonverbal can learn how to type on the computer.
>> Unknown:: He can do that.
>> Temple Grandin:: He can type on the computer independently?
>> Unknown:: Yes.
>> Temple Grandin:: Good.
>> Unknown:: I was wondering how can I get him to actually start speaking?
>> Temple Grandin:: Well, can he -- has he ever spoken any words at all?
>> Unknown:: He has. At one point he's been even able to say my name.
But he can speak every now and then, but I just want to try to actually see if I can get him to speak to see if he can have conversations.
>> Temple Grandin:: Maybe he'll be someone that's just going to have conversations writing. Can you converse with him on the computer?
>> Unknown:: No. He just -- like he doesn't understand that, unfortunately.
>> Temple Grandin:: He doesn't write on the computer either. Because there's some people that are nonverbal that look extremely low functioning.
Like there's a lady named Carley. She's going to be coming out with a new book. There's Tito Mukhopadhyay.
When you look at him, he looks totally low functioning, but he can type independently on the computer.
He has a book "How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move." He'll come in flapping. I ask him one question and he can type it out really fast.
He gets up and flaps. I asked him what it was like before he had typing.
He said it was emptiness, that his sensory world was just a jumble of colors and stimulation. He's definitely an auditory learner.
>> Unknown:: My question is about stimming.
When I was very, very young I used to do this thing called bonking, which is essentially banging
your head on the couch so you can fall asleep, or sit on the dryer, that kind of thing.
Did you do anything like this, any self-named behavior?
>> Temple Grandin:: I did rocking, and I did dribbling sand through my hands.
And there was a brass plate that covered up a bolt that held the bed together.
I'd spin the brass plate around and around and around, and watch it spin, and I could just get kind of hypnotized by this.
Now one of the reasons kids do is stimming is to calm down. I was actually allowed an hour after lunch where I could go stim.
But the rest of the time I wasn't allowed. Wasn't allowed at the dinner table or at church or at school.
I think it's okay for a kid to have some downtime where they're allowed specifically to
stim, but there's other places like the dinner table, where you ought not be doing it.
Because if a kid is allowed to stim all day, his brain will not develop. Because when I did stimming, I could just shut out the world.
Sometimes it's done to shut out noise that hurts and things like this. Well, maybe -- should we keep going?
Okay. Maybe we'll take like three more questions, and then I'll go out and do some books and talk to you out in the hall.
>> Unknown:: Hello.
>> Temple Grandin:: And they've got some wicked little desserts out there. I already ate some of them. [LAUGHTER] Okay.
Take three more quick ones and then we're going to end.
>> Unknown:: Hello. Over here.
I'm just curious: Is it possible to train the brain to go from, for example, a verbal mind to an auditory mind, or you are what you are?
>> Temple Grandin:: There's a lot of brain plasticity, and you can train the brain to do a lot of things.
But I don't think you're going to take a photolistic visual thinker like me and turn me into an algebra expert.
I don't think that's going to happen. You get into the whole argument about what's innate and genetic and what's learned.
They're both really important.
Because the research is very clear that the early intervention, the worst thing
you could do with an autistic three-year-old is let them sit and rock all day.
That's the worst thing you could do with them. You've got to pull them out of it so their brains can develop.
>> Unknown:: Okay.
If you could see a realtime image of your brain, and if people could see a live realtime image of their brain, would this help brain development?
>> Temple Grandin:: Well, there's the scanning technology's evolving.
The thing that's interesting, the scanning method they used on me, it's not the scanner machine itself, it's all in the software.
Well, who would have made that software? Somebody on the spectrum.
They said -- [LAUGHTER] We are only going to put 50 super computers in the box the size of this lectern. And they did it.
This is where you're working on the job. You give them jobs but there's a certain outcome.
It's gotta do a certain kind of scanning and fit in this box. Okay. That's an outcome.
Us visual thinkers, we're going to be good at things like design. Graphic arts. Industrial design.
Photography. Mathematicians, your engineers and your computer scientists, and you've got the word thinkers.
Thinking about the different kinds of jobs. Over here.
>> Unknown:: I wanted to know if you experience empathy.
>> Temple Grandin:: Empathy. I have a lot of empathy for things like physical hardship. Somebody loses their house, I can really relate to that.
They have a physical hardship kind of thing.
And I just imagine I wouldn't want anything like that happening to me how, would I
like it if I got thrown out of my house and all my stuff was out on the street?
I certainly wouldn't like that. And I have a lot of empathy for those kinds of things.
Somebody that's really poor, can't get basic care and they're really sick, that's a horrible place to be.
>> Unknown:: So I teach martial arts to students, and I have a lot of parents come in who have kids with disabilities like autism and Aspergers and ADHD.
Do you think that would be a good place for them, if not would you recommend a good sport?
>> Temple Grandin:: I heard a lot of good things about martial arts. Because it teaches discipline.
You've got to cooperate with other people that are there. I think these kind of activities can be extremely good.
We need to be getting these kids into activities where there are shared interests.
For me, it was horseback riding, the electronics lab and the rocket club.
Most places are refuges away from teasing, and they're a place where I was appreciated for my skills. That's the other important thing.
I had to learn how to sell my work. And people -- I remember going to an ag engineering meeting back in the early '70s.
They thought I was so weird and wouldn't talk to me. I whipped out one of those drawings.
They go: Oh, you did that; maybe you're worth talking to. With that, I think we'll end. And I thank you all for coming. [APPLAUSE]