>> All right, we are ready to start, I'm so excited.
How many dry eyes?
Do we have any dry eyes after watching this?
I know that I have watched the movie a million times.
I cry every time.
I watched it again last night and cried again, because it shed
so much light on my niece.
But we'll get to that story in a moment I want
to introduce myself first, my name is Loriana Hernandez,
the anchor for Fox 7 News here in Austin
and also do health stories that air nationally.
A lot of my stories happen to be on autism, your diet,
exercise, total body health.
This is so important to me, not just for my niece
but for everyone I think this is so important that A.C.C.
and U.T. are coming together for this amazing event.
So I do want to thank the Austin Community College
for inviting me to be your emcee.
When they told me this is normally ratings week in TV
and you cannot be off TV for any reason except a death
in a family when they knew that Dr. Grandin was coming,
they knew there was no way to keep me in the building.
So they said forget it, we're going to bend the rules.
So I am so ecstatic to be here with all of you and honored.
Dr. Grandin's life and work has certainly impacted people all
around the world, and everyone in this room, I'm sure.
It's no longer six degrees of separation, almost one
or two degrees of those who are impacted.
Something that I take from the movie is a door opens
and I went through it.
She said that and I'll try not to cry up here.
But but it did open
for me I'm going to get through this.
When my niece was diagnosed, when my sister said,
you know, she called me, okay.
She called me and said something happened to Maggie,
everything seemed right, she was hitting her milestones
and poof it all stopped.
I don't know what to do with her.
I can't leave the house.
Nobody wants to watch her.
Something has gone terribly wrong and nobody has an answer
and I'm thinking I'm in TV, I have access to experts all
around the world, I'm a fix it person,
you give me a problem I will fix it.
I couldn't fix it.
That was whats so devastating for me.
This is something that none of us could fix,
but through the eyes of talking to Dr. Grandin,
we can get some answers of how we can help these children.
For Maggie, as I mentioned, there were melt downs,
behavioral problems, screams.
She would just scream all day.
She wouldn't talk, didn't communicate
until she was three or four.
Socially she was behind.
Wouldn't make eye contact.
The teachers would just say "She's terrible.
You need to find an institution."
I would tell my sister,
tell them the only institution this kid is going
to is a university like the University of Texas, A.C.C.,
that's the kind of institution she's going to.
We're not going to listen to that
[ APPLAUSE ]
suddenly I thought okay I'm in a position
to be able to change lives.
I work for fox 7 news here in Austin,
but I need to do something bigger than this.
When I was trying to get answers for Maggie there were
so many other parents who would call me crying.
It started to get to the point where it was hard for me
to do my own job because I was answering calls when I'm
at home all day and trying to help families
and so I started a charity called Maggie's hope.
And because I want families to know there's hope.
What we do is we give funding to families.
Because a lot of a lot
of places will help you find the resources you need
and then there's families who say, well, how do I get
that iPad to help my kid?
Or how do I get the foods for the special diet, you know,
maybe the no dyes, no preservatives
or the glutin free foods, I can't afford it.
That's where we come in.
We direct them to wonderful companies like Whole Foods
to help guide these children to change their diet,
to teach the parents how to interact with them
and our next mission is now we need to get to teachers.
To teach them how to interact with these kids
because there's nothing wrong with them.
We just need to know the right avenue.
That's why we have Dr. Grandin here.
The movie says walk on with hope in your heart,
you will never walk alone, you won't walk alone,
if you are struggling with autism,
there are a lot of resources.
If you don't want to go through Maggie's hope there's a lot
of ways to get help.
Hopefully you should get answers today.
I hope that you can get a better understanding
of autism learning how we can support those
with autism and their families.
It is critical.
The numbers are growing in staggering amounts.
And as you will see and hear from Dr. Grandin,
there's nothing wrong with these kids they are wired differently
and they are amazing.
Dr. Grandin's insight is invaluable to all of us,
she is a strong advocate which I love for community colleges
like A.C.C. and the kind of work that they're doing.
Without further ado, because I could stand up here
and cry all day, I want to introduce A.C.C. president
and C.E.O. Dr. Richard Rhodes.
[applause] Thank you, Loriana.
You may have noticed I got up and walked
out of the movie just a little bit early.
The reason was I had some tears coming down my cheeks
because truthfully I don't think there is a dry eye having
watched that movie.
And I was a big fan of the man from uncle.
So I remember Ilya Kuriachen [Laughter],
and Star Trek, I love Star Trek.
And Napoleon solo, great times and great memories
as I was watching that.
I want to welcome you to an A.C.C. event,
an afternoon with Temple Grandin.
We're very honored to have Temple Grandin with us today.
I want to take a moment to really say thank you
to the people that made this possible.
Whole Foods, I want to say thank you very much, Rick.
Awesome job and we just really appreciate the friendship
and the relationship, the partnership
that we have with you.
Thank you so much.
[ APPLAUSE ]
Yes. And by the way, my wife spent an hour and a half
in your store yesterday and [Laughter].
I don't know how much that's costing us.
Wow. I also want to thank the Texas autism project here
at the University of Texas.
And so Pamela, thank you very much for your partnership.
[ APPLAUSE ]
You know, originally, we were scheduled to host this
at the Austin Community College Eastview campus.
And not all of you would fit in our largest room at any
of our campuses and so I we looked at the partnership
and thankfully the University
of Texas we were able to move it over here.
And it's a good thing because there's a lot of people here of.
Dr. Temple Grandin went from being a child who did not talk
by age 3 to a world famous inventor
who revolutionized practices in the livestock industry as those
of you who had the ability to watch the movie just saw.
She also demonstrated to the world that someone
with autism can thrive and contribute
and every life has promise and should be valued.
Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal sciences
at Colorado State University.
Where she serves as a mentor and advocate
in both agricultural and autism realms.
She's a best selling author, I have some books with her, too.
The subject of an award winning movie
which you just had the opportunity to watch was listed
by Time magazine as one
of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She is a true friend of the community college mission
to provide access to college education for all to attend
and as you know, A.C.C. is an open door institution.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Temple Grandin.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> Well, it great to be here.
Hope everybody can hear me okay.
Think I will start off and tell a little bit about myself.
When I was three years old, I had absolutely no speech.
I was really lucky to get into really good early intervention.
I can't emphasize enough the importance working with kids,
two and three year olds,
you have a three year old that doesn't talk.
The worst thing that you can do
with that 3 year old is do nothing.
Now if you can get professional services, yes,
I would rather have that.
If you can't get services, get some volunteers,
you gotta work with that kid.
Teach them words, play turn taking games with them,
read story books to them, take them out
and have them explore plants and stuff outside.
You've got to do things with 'em.
And you've got to keep their mind engaged to the world.
I want to talk a little bit about diagnosis.
First of all, diagnosis is not all that precise.
It's behavioral profile.
It isn't like you have that meningitis
and horrible fungus thing that people get up their backs,
I'm sure everybody knows about that.
That is a precise diagnosis.
You know, when things like autism is a real thing,
something like depression, OCD are real things,
but it has to be done with a behavioral profile.
Also, autism is a very big spectrum.
At one end, Steve jobs, Einstein,
Mozart and the other end somebody that is going
to remain non verbal,
not going to be going to community college.
This is where you've got such a big spectrum.
Kids kind of quirky, geeky kids like me need a different kind
of service than some of the more severe kids.
What worries me is I'm seeing kids getting labeled ADD
oppositional defiant, I think that's BS.
I think that that and conduct disorder I think is total BS.
[ APPLAUSE ]
The problem that you've got is you've got some science,
real things, autism, schizophrenia, depression,
anxiety problems, ADD, real things mixed
in with a bunch of insurance codes.
So you get services of any kind now kids have got
to have a label.
And I get worried about some
of these smart kids getting held back.
You know, what would happen
to little Albert Einstein junior today?
No speech until age 3.
Where is he going to end up today?
That's something that really, really worries me.
A whole lot.
You know, there's an article in fortune magazine
about 10 years ago on famous dyslexic C.E.O.'s.
The guy that was the head of Jetblue was ADD.
Some other airline had a guy that was ADD.
Sort of like a little bit
of this trait gives you an advantage.
You take out social circuits, then you get geek circuits.
And the geek side of me really likes the fact that all
of the projects in the movie, I actually did.
I actually did build that gate when I was 15.
The optical illusion room, I did that.
This brings up another thing.
You've got to show kids interesting stuff
to get them turned on to interesting things.
Really important thing.
Okay. I want you to get thinking about different ways to think.
The movie did a great job
of showing how I think completely in pictures.
Now, when I was young, I thought everybody thought in pictures.
I didn't know that my thinking was different.
Until I started questioning people.
I'm going to get into that a little bit later.
But there's different kinds of minds.
Kids that get labels often have real uneven skills.
They've got to be good at one thing and bad at something else.
We've got to work on building up the area of strength.
If you want to understand animal behavior, maybe autism,
maybe some of the mathematicians,
you've got to get away from verbal language.
Verbal language is not the total way
that makes the world go round.
We are getting in our education system today hung up on verbal.
In the '60s we went through stupid educational fads
like new math and teaching machines.
If you want a bunch of rubbish look up teaching machines
in the 1960s, that was some educational theorist gone off
their rocker and that was something that didn't work.
Absolutely didn't work.
But there are different ways of thinking
and different people working together really do good things.
Now an animal's world is sensory based.
I want to get you thinking about thinking
where it's not in words.
It's in pictures.
Maybe patterns, the animal is going to remember things
as tastes, as certain sounds, touch sensations.
It's sensory based, and it's also very, very detailed.
The normal view in mind tends to drop out details.
There's some evidence that verbal thinking covers
up visual thinking and mathematical thinking.
Because there's a type of Alzheimer's
as the verbal thinking gets destroyed art ability comes out.
This was from an Alzheimer's patient.
And when Van Gogh painted starry night I don't think he realized
that he was putting mathematical formulas into starry night.
But mathematicians got ahold of this
and analyzed these patterns mathematically.
Some people think in pictures, others think in patterns.
The normal brain drops out all of the details.
But you know details are really important.
Well, you know you don't build a bridge right,
it might fall down.
We need to have people that are worried about details.
I certainly hope that air traffic controller
at the airport is worrying about details.
Yeah, little details like not having your plane smash
into another plane that's a pretty important detail.
Now, sometimes the most obvious thing is the least obvious.
In my work with cattle, one of the first things that I did was
to get down in the chutes to see what cattle are seeing.
People thought that was kind of crazy.
But I'm a visual thinker.
I didn't know that other people think in verbal.
So here we got this cattle handling facility,
the cattle don't want to go into the cattle handling facility.
And people go oh, let's rip out the cattle handling facility,
we will have to totally replace it.
The problem is the cattle were afraid of the flag
that was waving, rapid emotion, high contrast,
and really scary noise.
Sometimes the most obvious you just don't notice it.
That's scaring the cattle.
I see that all the time.
Look at how that animal is just fixated on that streak of light.
That looks very obvious when I point it out.
But it's not always that obvious.
I had to talk about don't leave a chain hanging down in a chute
that moves or hang a hose across the floor
because the cattle aren't going to walk over that.
Why after 40 years do I still have to keep talking
about stupid chains hanging down in chutes?
Because people don't take them out.
That's why I have to keep talking about 'em.
So I get down in there and see what they're seeing.
On a sunny day, you have got all of these shadows,
cloudy day you won't have shadows.
One day they are balking at the shadows,
on the cloudy day they don't balk at the shadows.
Or they see the people there.
I'm always getting asked, are they scared
of getting slaughtered?
Always getting asked about that.
I found they behave at the slaughterhouse the same way
as they behave at the ranch.
They knew they were going to get slaughtered they ought
to be twice as wild, they ought to be way, way, way,
way more wild and that's just not the case.
When I went out to Hollywood boy I can tell you they were really
interested, how do slaughterhouses work,
what are feed lots, people are just curious,
people today are totally separated from ag,
they have a video of a Temple Grandin beef plant video tour
if you want to look at how some of my facilities work.
The large slaughter plant.
Shows the whole thing.
Don't hide anything.
We don't call it a harvest facility.
Because that's a pile of rubbish.
We call it a beef plant.
We will sanitize it a little bit.
Okay, now let's look at this detail.
See how the horse and zebra have an ear on each other.
Well you see they watch with their ears, too.
How about the slaughterhouse?
I will show this slide to my students ask them
to tell me things that you might have to fix
to get the animals handling better.
Well, we have a chain hanging down there.
But oftentimes people fail
to see the three people standing right
where they should not be standing.
Driving the cattle up into those people.
And that is gonna make them balk.
What is this?
This is what's left of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
I get interested in this sort of stuff.
I spend a lot of times on planes, I have nothing to do,
I was reading every magazine, newspaper,
everything that I could lay my hands on about this.
When I find out why this happened, I'm going you've got
to be kidding, I can't believe this.
How did they make a mistake this serious,
a mistake that a visual thinker would never make.
I can't design a nuclear power plant,
I couldn't design a nuclear reactor.
Let me tell you why four nuclear reactors melted down,
breach of containment.
It's not a good idea when you live next to the sea
to put your emergency generators
that run your very important emergency cooling pump
in a basement that's not waterproof.
They have these big diesel generators the size
of Mac trucks and they got the backup,
the backup and the backup.
They don't run underwater.
It just that simple.
That's why they melted down.
And I used to think these kind
of mistakes were due to stupidity.
I found out it's not stupidity.
It's not seeing it.
They just didn't see it.
Well, we need our visual thinkers.
They are going to be very good at jobs
like fixing cars, certified welding.
Right now there's a huge shortage
of people in skilled trades.
Two year classes that you do at the community college.
Okay. I see pictures in my mind.
This is a picture of a young man sent to me
to show how he sees movies in his head.
I used to think everybody thought that way.
I didn't know that I was different.
Now I realize that my thinking was different
when I asked people about church steeples,
I went how does this come into your mind?
Well, I was shocked to find out that a lot
of people get this vague generalized thing.
Boy I had to look hard on the internet
to find vague generalized one
from a fiberglass church steeple company.
Actually I see some of these as I travel around.
But I have to fabricate a generic one.
A lot of people that are more verbal see kind
of a generic one.
My concept of what a steeple is is specific ones,
this brings up really important thing in teaching kids
with autism and a lot of other labels.
Everything is learned by specific examples.
That's a really important concept.
So you've got to have several specific examples.
If I want to teach the word down,
I need several different specific examples,
you walk down the stairs,
I lie down on the bed, I walk down a hill.
I put a cup down on the table.
I have to give quite a few different examples
of using the word down.
You want to teach manners, it's done by specific example
out in a real environment.
Let's say I reach across the table
to get the mashed potatoes, you don't scream no.
My mother would say ask your sister to pass it.
You give the instruction.
Also you need consistent discipline
between home and school.
Temper tantrum, Then there was no Howdy Doody show that night,
no TV that night, that would be taken away for one night.
It's got to be consistency between home and school.
Parents and teachers have got to work together.
The thing again, autism is a very big spectrum,
why have we had an increase.
I think there is some severe autism that has increased,
I think there's various things that can cause that,
medications during pregnancy, solvents getting into things,
but some of it is just increased diagnosis.
Where are all of the old people that have mild autism
or Asperger's, They all got employed.
Meat packing plants would fall down without them,
they're the weird guy that fixes the office equipment.
They have always been there.
The world would fall apart if you didn't have these people.
In fact I have a book called different not less that's 14 old
people that got diagnosed later in life
because their relationships were a mess.
But they managed to keep jobs, all of their life.
They've always been there.
I think today's looser society really hurts the kids
that are kind of quirky and different.
We are not teaching manners quite the same way.
you see when you don't have a few social circuits hooked
up in your head, then you've got
to learn social rules like being in a play.
You just got to learn this is how you behave
in different situations.
One of the things that you got to teach these kids turn taking,
I'm really awful about turn taking.
In the 50s that was taught with board games.
Another thing that works really well,
because I was constantly teased all
of the time is getting involved with shared interests.
Only places where I was not bullied was horseback riding,
model rocket club and electronics lab.
You have got to get kids involved
in the shared interests.
Things like 4 h and FFA are great, Boy Scouts, girl scouts.
Kids also need to learn work rules.
All of the individuals
in the different not less book, all had paper routes.
I'm seeing too many kids getting through school
and never learned how to work.
That needs to start in middle school.
How about walking dogs for people,
making PowerPoint presentations, volunteer at the farmers market,
maintain a community or church website.
Start learning those work skills.
When I was 13, I had a little sewing job, when I was 15 I went
to my aunt's ranch and you know what,
you've got to stretch these kids, you've got to stretch them
and you've got to stretch them just past their comfort zone
because I was afraid to go to the ranch.
Mother said you can go for a week or go all summer,
but not going that was not going to be an issue.
Got to stretch 'em.
But remember, no surprises.
No surprises, going to be a change in the schedule,
they need to know a week in advance.
Don't make it a surprise.
So the steeples, just flashed up into my mind, just like this,
local ones, Fort Collins, famous ones, it's all specific examples
and they just flash up into my mind.
So my concept of what a steeple is is a whole lot
of specific examples.
This is why it's so important,
get kids out doing a lot of different things.
Because you've got to fill up the internet of their head.
With a lot of specific examples.
They used to call me tape recorder in high school.
I couldn't figure out why they call me tape recorder,
because I always said the same things over and over again.
As I get more experiences, then I got more web pages in my mind.
So I come with a really good search engine.
Brain scan research showed that I got extra fibers back here,
extra search engine fibers and that means
that my thinking is associative, not linear, it's associative.
Okay. When I asked the astrophysics professor what did
he see when asked about church steeples, this is a guy
that worked on the Hubble space telescope.
He saw a motion of people singing and praying.
He saw patterns.
Not pictures of them.
Wow. You ask speech therapists,
they tend to see a very, very generic steeple.
A few people with no pictures in their head at all
and they are not blind and do drive, I checked that out.
People that drive cars that seem
to have absolutely no visual thinking at all.
When you get different labels, that's when the skills get
to be a more uneven and my ability
in art was always encouraged.
And that became the basis of, you know,
what I did with designing cattle facilities.
Being a visual thinker helped me in my cattle work
because I could run equipment in my mind.
I thought everybody ran equipment in their mind.
I didn't know it was a special skill.
You might wonder why it occurred.
Because as the cattle come around the bend,
they think they're going back to where they came from.
They have three big huge mega plants for beef here in Texas,
all of the cattle here are handled in a piece of equipment
that I designed call the center track restrainer system.
I think that's doing pretty good
for a kid they thought was mentally retarded.
[ APPLAUSE ]
. And there's an aerial view of the dip vat facility they built
for the movie and it's down at Schwartner's Capital Land
and Cattle Company outside of Austin, movie was filmed,
everything in that movie was done within a 50 mile radius
of Austin, let's keep it good and weird.
[ APPLAUSE ]
And there's one of my we've got a gorgeous
Boy, I want to thank the L.B.J. library
for having a really decent projector here,
that shows off my drawings,
sometimes I get a really putrid projector
and you can't see the drawings.
The thing is one of the things that I learned is I had
to sell my work rather than myself.
When you are a weird geek, you have got to kind
of short circuit the regular front door interview process,
avoid the HR department like a plague
and get your work shown to the right people.
I remember going to an Ag engineering meeting,
they thought that I was really weird, they didn't want to talk
to me and I whipped out one of these.
And then I got some respect.
I also made a very nice professional brochure,
I had articles that I was putting in the cattle magazines.
You see showing off my work and you want
to only put your best stuff in your portfolio.
I've had people say I'm Asperger's,
I'm a graphic designer, I say where's your portfolio,
get it on your phone you know get it on your phone
so you can show it off.
You always want to have your portfolio with you
because you never know when you are going to meet somebody
who can open the door.
Just like in the movie I met the wife of the plant manager.
You know what the real story is?
I met the wife of the insurance agent,
the plant's insurance agent of all things,
that was the guy that I met.
But it was a chance meeting.
I was wearing a hand embroidered shirt, this is a beautiful shirt
that Whole Foods gave me, it's got the guitars on the back, so,
that is really appropriate.
Unfortunately a computer did embroider this.
Well you see in the '50s girls learned sewing.
So when I was in third grade I learned embroidery.
I was wearing my portfolio and I didn't realize it.
People respect ability.
I have you have got to figure out how to sell yourself.
There's so many ways to do it now on the internet.
I got a reputation of being really weird when I was
in Arizona, but I wasn't really weird when it came
to my articles that I wrote for the farmer ranch man magazine.
And there's the original drawings for the dip vat.
HBO used this actual drawing,
this is one of three drawings they used
to actually build the facility.
It's still down at Schwartner land and cattle,
down at the capital land
and cattle company, they still have it.
That was a real dip vat,
all of the cattle handling pictures in here were real.
So then how about drowning them.
This movie won best one camera editing.
That was given out before the Emmys
and so what they did is drowned the fake one
in a horse therapy pool at a local veterinarian's office.
That's how they did the drowning.
And then the real cattle went through the real dip vats.
They were real.
Squeeze chutes were real, Claire Danes laid
down with the cattle, that was real.
They got a big, huge, super scary cherry picker,
real scary cherry picker I wouldn't be caught dead on
and they did those pictures.
I teach a class in livestock handling and one of the things
that my students have to learn is how to relate the lines
on the drawing to the actual real facility.
How do you relate this to this?
And this is something that I had to learn.
And the way I learned it was I got all of the drawings
for this big Swift plant, I walked around the Swift plant
until every line on that drawing I compared to the actual thing.
That actually took quite a bit of time.
See the thing is, you have an ability
but it takes time to develop it.
I spent three years learning how to read blueprints.
Then drawing just sort of magically appeared,
but there was a whole period
of inputting all kinds of information.
If you are interested in my cattle handling,
I do have a book called humane livestock handling,
its got all of the drawings in here how to design this stuff,
I've got it up on Grandin.com, just my last name Grandin.com.
OK, there's the actual real thing.
Now I noticed a very weird thing happened
as the industry switched from hand drafting to computers.
We started getting really weird mistakes on drawings.
Like things like the center of the circle was not
in the middle of the circle.
25 foot long gates.
How are you going to make 25 foot long gates work?
Gates that didn't swing right.
Then I started finding out who is drawing these really
It wasn't the old folks that switched over to the computers,
it was some 22 year old kid that had never built anything
by hand and he had never drawn by hand.
The thing is that you need to work with your hands
in order to see things.
And when I went and visited Pixar,
that was a really fun trip, this is Christopher Munger the writer
for the movie, I had a great time at Pixar,
and you know Buzz Lightyear started
out as scribbled sketches pinned to the hallway wall.
They still do some handrawing.
Then they had this really cool thing called a 3D printer,
so you draw your Buzz Lightyear all out,
and then you can print him and make a little plastic statue
of him in a 3 d printer, that's the kind of cool stuff we ought
to have in high school.
It cost the price of one major league football uniform.
I want to put it in perspective.
I like to put things in perspective.
[ APPLAUSE ]
that's about $2,500 for the cheapie,
a you get a little better one for $3,500.
But we got to expose high school kids and middle school kids
to interesting stuff like this
to get them interested in interesting stuff.
Like these kids who have turned into video games addicts.
Let's sneak them out to an oil rig on Sunday afternoon.
I know we're not supposed
to take 12 year olds to oil rigs.
We've just got to make sure he doesn't get hurt.
Show him that oil rigs have joy sticks, too.
I did something really cool the other day.
I got to do a little bit of flying on a real jet.
You want cool?
That was oh, that was really cool.
You have got to get people exposed to things,
you got to show these kids there's more to the world
than just video games.
Some kids are going to become video game designers.
But there's 10 students for every slot on that.
How about something more cool?
How about spy satellites?
Oh, the government is hiring right now.
Dual major, electrical engineering
and computer science.
Do the next generation Google maps, except you won't be able
to talk about it for 15 years.
[Laughter], that's what it will be.
I know where all the hot jobs are at.
I follow that stuff because one
of my biggest concerns is getting people employed.
And employed in good jobs.
[ APPLAUSE ]
And for some people the four year college is the right thing
to do and for others the two year class is the right thing
We have a shortage of welders, auto mechanics,
diesel mechanics, machinists, utility line workers,
who do you think is like going
to put the water sogged electrical stuff
in the New York subway back together again?
It's not the social yakety yaks
and it really not the politicians with all
of the stupid ridiculous attack ads
[ APPLAUSE ]
we have to get back to doing real stuff.
Us old fogies, I just turned 65,
we built the interstate highway system, we went to the moon.
We got stuff done!
[ APPLAUSE ]
we need to be getting back to that kind of stuff.
Okay. Here's a picture
that a young autistic kid drew in perspective.
You know, you have kids that get different labels, ADD,
dyslexia, learning problems.
You get on the milder end of the spectrum,
half of Silicon Valley is probably on the spectrum too.
I went to this thing called the singularity conference,
it was full of Aspy's.
But, now they are going to take away Aspergers
and call it social communication disorder
because they don't want to pay for it.
That's called insurance costs.
That's what that's called.
You get a third or fourth grader good at drawing,
you want to develop that.
When I was in third or fourth grade my ability
in art was encouraged.
But these kids will get hung up on a single thing.
My thing was endless horse head drawing.
You have to be doing more than just drawing horse heads.
So let's draw the whole entire horse.
or if a child likes anime, let's do anime's house, anime's car,
you have to broaden out the thing they are fixated on.
Trains is a real common one, trains and airplanes.
You know why they like trains and airplanes?
Because they move.
Flags is another favorite thing.
Take the thing that they are interested in
and say alright lets do math for trains, lets read about trains,
lets do art with trains, broaden out that fixation,
but having an associative link back into it.
My fixation on cattle chutes became my business.
Now I used to joke around that I had huge internet trunk line
going deep into any visual cortex.
Turns out that I do.
Here's an evener bigger bit right there.
And and it also we found
out why my language is so messed up.
My language output circuit,
circuit for speak what you see, less bandwidth.
I had 20% of the bandwidth of normal.
My speak what you hear, a little tiny piece of string,
I definitely don't learn by auditory.
I'm a visual learner.
This is where some kids are visual learner,
some kids are auditory learners.
Education needs to present a lot more different kinds
And some of the Montessori methods are great
for teaching math.
Reading stuff is funky, but the math stuff I love it.
The thing that I like about it it's free online.
Get the geeks out in Silicon Valley to figure
out to improve the internet out in the rural areas
because it's atrocious.
Okay. Another kind of mind is the pattern thinker.
This is the mathematician.
Seeing that praying mantis there, single sheet
of folded paper, no tape, no cuts.
What you see in the background is a folding pattern
for making the praying mantis, that's not my mind.
Lets just get back to the internet for just a second.
Let me tell you about some
of the great free stuff that's online.
Udacity, free programming courses.
How does this website pay for itself?
Head hunters look for kids that are really bright.
You can sign up to get head hunted on that website.
Udacity, It's just audacity without the a. Coursera,
another great website.
That's course, like a college course then ra.
I just go Course with an Egyptian sun God.
I've got to have something to make me remember it.
Coursera. Wolfram Mathmatica, another fabulous site.
How about free classes from Stanford,
there's all kinds of stuff.
But got to have an internet connection.
To play video.
All kinds of great free stuff online.
And what are the kind of jobs that the mathematician is going
to be good at, engineering, computer science, physics, math.
That's the kind of stuff that they're good at.
Here's an important slide.
You get the kids that are kind of quirky and different,
and you get the photolistic and visual thinkers like me
that absolutely can't do algebra.
A mistake made with me is that we didn't go to geometry.
That was a gigantic, gigantic mistake.
Some people think geometry,
algebra is a prerequisite for geometry.
I'm going BS.
Geometry was invented before algebra.
So how could it be a prerequisite?
That doesn't make sense.
How did the Greeks invent geometry
if they didn't have algebra?
Now the photorealistic visual thinkers will be good
with things like industrial design.
What I do industrial design.
You have a product like an iPhone or iPad,
the industrial designer, Steve jobs,
the visual person makes the user interface.
The engineers make the inside of the phone or the iPad.
See that's two different kinds of mind
that are working together.
Look up Steve jobs's patents,
they are not engineering patents.
Then you have the pattern thinkers, music, math,
those sorts of things.
Tend to not think so much in pictures.
These little kids often have trouble with reading.
Now, yeah, we're going to have to do something
to get the reading better.
But it's yeah I went want to get the reading better
but I don't want to neglect the math.
If this little third grader can do a college math book he needs
to be accelerated.
There's a kind of P.C. correctness
that everybody is the same.
A lot of kids that are king of quirky and different
and get labels, they may need to be advanced way ahead
in one subject and they may need special ed in another subject.
A big problem that a lot
of teachers have is this they know what to do
with the more severe kids they don't know what to do
with the smart kind of Asperger's kind of kids
or smart dyslexic kid.
Really smart in math, horrible in reading,
they just don't know what to do with them.
I do have another book, I have a really basic autism book,
I don't know if they're going to have books here for sale or not,
but there's a book called the way I see it.
The way I see it.
That is my most basic autism book.
It's no the a great book for just reading.
It has a whole lot of little short chapters,
especially for parents and teachers, the way I see it.
It's available in all of the book stores,
it's available online.
One of my most basic books.
Then you have the verbal thinkers.
They know all of the facts about history
and their favorite things are movie stars,
some of these guys would be great at specialty retailing
because they know because they they will know
everything in the store, but I read something
on retailing the other day, I thought that I was going
to throw up when I read it.
Some retailers, I think this is really disgusting,
they buy special software that's like a spreadsheet
but special software to make sure that nobody works
over 30 hours a week so they don't have to pay benefits.
They buy a special program for that.
I thought that I was going to throw up when I read that.
Then you have people that are the auditory thinkers.
These are the people that would be good salespeople,
very good with talking and they are not a visual thinker.
They don't draw.
Just to show you, there's two ways to do the algebra problem,
the pattern thinking way and the verbal way.
There's now brain research that shows very clearly
that the photovisualistic thinker
like me uses a different part of the brain
than a pattern thinker.
I have another scan with a big bright blue area in it,
basically full of water, that's in my math department.
Take one thing away, and you get something else.
Where a lot of these kids have trouble with multi tasking.
They can't multi task and they also can't remember long strings
of verbal information.
Write it down.
Now how do you form a concept with all
of these pictures floating around in their head.
This guy sent me a photo, this drawing that he made
of sorting cats and dogs into boxes.
See with bottom up thinking, you put all the dogs
in one file all the cats in another file.
OK now we have things like domestic cats, we've got lions
and tigers, see those are sub-categories of cat.
Okay you've got cat up here, you've got the house cats,
then you've got the wild ones.
You know then you've got the feral ones,
so maybe I have three kinds of cats.
You see, then you start making subcategories of things.
But everything is bottom up.
It's bottom up, not top down.
It's specific examples.
And I think in making policy,
we need to be getting a lot more bottom up thinking.
OK if we made some policy what does it do to Susy Q over here,
what does it do to Jim over here, what does it do
to this lady living in the trailer park over here,
how's that policy going to affect these different people?
Now I'm really concerned about abstractification.
We've taken the hands on classes out of a lot of schools,
we've got people making policy on stuff
and they don't know anything
about practically applying the policy.
Actually doing stuff, we spend more money
in this country fighting over patents than we do making them.
My dog will make categories when I'm on the leash,
I protect my owner, and when I'm off the leash I go play.
Dogs make categories, sometimes autistic kids do that, too.
When I'm on the horse, okay, on the horse, the cattle are calm.
Everything is fine.
Get off the horse, that's scary and new.
You see that's a different picture.
Man on a horse, man on the ground,
that's two different pictures.
It's really important to get cattle trained
to both of those things.
That's really super important.
I think about a vacuum cleaner.
Well, when I thought about a vacuum cleaner,
I saw this big scary vacuum cleaner that we had
at my school, giant trash can thing with a huge bag.
I was sure that it was going to eat me
up when I was in first grade.
Then I thought about our school play.
When I was in elementary school.
Why am I thinking about our school play?
Because that vacuum cleaner, big scary thing stored
in the assembly hall where we had our plays,
you see how there's an associative link there?
That's how the autistic mind works.
I find lots of time when categorizing problems,
trying to solve a problem, what is actually causing the problem?
Let's take something wrong with a piece of equipment
in a meat packing plant.
Is it a people problem
or something wrong with the equipment?
I find lots of times that people have a hard time differentiating
between a people training issue
versus something wrong with the equipment.
And then if there's something wrong
with the equipment, is it a glitch?
Something minor or do we really have
to rip it out and replace it.
I find lot of times people just want the new magic thing
and they want the new magic thing more
than they want the management.
We build the new magic thing,
yes I think schools should have internet,
but that doesn't replace bad teaching, you know come on,
you need to have both the management and the thing.
I was reading about the BP thing,
let's look at that big mess.
Okay, was it an oil rig problem or a management problem?
It was a management problem, not an oil rig problem.
I found out some of the stuff they did on that job, bad.
I gave worked for companies that did sloppy construction stuff,
where you have a boss pushing pushing to cut corners,
they go do this stupid safety thing
where if you go visit the rig, I better put a lid
on my coffee cup so I don't fall on my little tucks
in the break room, but they forget
about the real important stuff.
Like how about not being a slob on how you do your process?
They failed the pressure test, then they just poo pooed
that off and then you have these centralizer things
and they only had five of them down,
they keep little pipe centered, the big pipe.
Halliburton says that you have to have twenty one, you know,
like vendors they always want to make you do more stuff
But I think maybe it's more than five.
The reason they did that chinze thing is they didn't have
I have to say the C.E.O. of BP, when I found
out he was a geologist I said he ought to be ashamed.
He's a scientist, I can understand
if he's a finance guy making that mistake,
when he's a geologist he shouldn't be making
That is a tacky.
This was just sloppiness.
Somebody is going to say it's oil rigs, oil rigs are bad,
no it's not oil rigs are bad, sloppy management is bad,
this was a management problem.
In looking at problems, you have
to go what is the cause of the problem.
Again sitting on the plane, reading all of this stuff,
I'm going I can't believe some of this stuff that they did.
It violated all best practices for the industry.
OK, well the animals and people
with autism are bottom up, not top down.
You've got to understand that,
that's one of the most important teaching concepts there is.
Want to teach a kid not to be rude?
We've got to do it by specific example.
>> When they make a mistake don't scream no,
give the instruction.
You can say that was rude of Mrs. Jones.
You call her a fat hippopotamus.
Okay. Let's say your child did that.
I-- I can remember my sister and I, mothers, getting in trouble
for when I talked about my aunt Bella being fat
in a certain way.
Her bosoms bounce up and down like horse feed bags.
[Laughter] And my mother said, If Bella hears
that you will be grounded for a week.
That is a specific example of saying something really rude.
You see, everything I have to learn by specific example
of what rude behavior is.
Bottom up you form concepts by categorizing specific examples.
Top down you form the concept first.
You form the concept first and cram all the data
into it even though it doesn't fit.
All the constant government reorganization of agencies.
Maybe they ought to get some field staff involved
like they did in the '60's.
Bottom up thinking actually makes it easier
to put information into categories.
Okay. Let's go back to the dogs or the cats.
Dogs, you've got domestic dogs, wolves, you've got coyotes,
ok so I can go Canids.
That's like the big category.
Then I have domestic dogs and then I've got wild dogs,
that would be coyotes, wolves and hyenas.
Then you have the domestic dogs.
I've got all the different types, sporting, working dogs,
lap dogs, I can put them in those kind of categories.
When I think about that I see pictures
of these different dogs.
And if I say the word dog in French, which is chin,
I get a different set of pictures
than if I say the word dog in English
to give you an idea of how I think.
We need to have different kinds of minds working together
and when the different minds put together we can really
compliment each other.
And another person and people
that really helped me were my mentors,
my science teacher, my aunt.
I'm concerned that we don't have enough really good science
teachers, good Ag.
teachers, good history teachers.
Teachers in the specialized different things
that can get kids turned on.
We need to be tapping into retirees.
Okay. School took out auto shop, maybe they can start it
up in their garage somewhere.
Let's tap into the retirees because these are the kind
of people that turn some of these kids
around that are just going nowhere,
getting addicted to video games.
And the problem is these individuals are playing video
games for eight hours a day and they end
up a Social Security playing video games on the disabled.
And then I see the grownup one, like there's this one mechanic
for United Airlines in Denver,
the guy has a ponytail this long, and he also gets the award
for the grungiest, most dirty safety vest for the airline.
They have a contest to see how much they can crud
up their safety vests.
But the thing is he can probably fix an airplane better
than anybody else can.
The thing is you need those kind of people.
I'm very concerned that the educational system is failing
to stimulate the visual thinkers and the pattern thinkers.
And we need these kind of people, the kind of people
that are going to solve problems.
This is an old paper
where visual spatial thinking is getting overlooked by educators.
And I think it's a shame so many schools have taken
out the hands on classes.
Just absolutely a shame.
There's the stuff that saved me.
And at the at the end of the movie, all those pictures
that were at the end
of the movie were my childhood photo album pictures.
In fact these two pictures actually I think the one
of me cutting the board is in the end of the movie.
If I hadn't had this stuff I don't know
where I would have gone.
Now, we got a look at sensory issues.
Let's look at something that can really mess somebody
up in the workplace is sensory problems,
things like sound sensitivity, visual sensitivity.
And you can get it in conjunction
with Comorbid is one of these stupid medical word
that simply means in conjunction with.
Doctors have a lot of scientific words
that really mean just stupid things.
[Laughter] Like the brain's emotion center is called the
almond, and the brain's file finder
for memories is called the sea horse or the hippocampus
because it kind of looks like a sea horse.
My almond is four times bigger than normal
and that's why I've had to be on antidepressants.
Let's talk a little about the subject of medication too.
Way too many drugs given out to little kids.
Let's try exercise.
Let's try a whole lot less sugar in the diet.
Whole foods has got great fish oil supplements.
That helps a lot of kids because we have an omega 3 deficient
diet in this country, which we did not have in the 50's
and 60's, but we've got it now.
Exercise, some of those kinds of things.
And then there's some people like me that need a little bit
of antidepressants to stop the anxiety and if you're interested
in medication issues, my book is Thinking in Pictures
and The Way I See It Again.
It has a whole section in there on medication.
But these sensory issues can be very, very disabling.
Sound sensitivity so bad you can't tolerate a Wal Mart
or a Whole Foods or normal restaurant because you just feel
like inside, speaker at the rock concert, getting pounded on.
And many different diagnosis can have these sensory issues.
And the thing is really weird is head injury can have the same
sensory problems as a developmental disorder.
And they're very, very evident.
One individual's problems
with fluorescent lights flickering drives them crazy.
Another individual can't stand balloons popping
or sudden noise.
When I was a little kid I hated the school bell.
And one of the ways to help a child get over this,
sometimes you can get them over it, sometimes you can't,
is if the child initiates the sound.
Let's say it's the buzzer on the scoreboard in the gym.
You go down to the gym when nobody is there
and he gets to turn it on.
Maybe with earmuffs on first and then maybe ear plugs
and earmuffs, then you gradually take that off.
Another important thing about ear plugs is they've got
to be off for half the day otherwise the brain tries
to compensate by getting more sensitive.
Now, a lot of kids have an auditory processing problem
where they do not hear hard consonant sounds.
Like if I said the dog walked down a street,
they'll be hearing the hard consonants drop out.
So, slow down when you talk to them, slow down.
The brain has problems with attention shifting slowness,
processing speed of the brain is slower.
You have to slow down.
It takes longer to shift back and forth
between two different things.
Ask the kid when they go to read,
do you ever see the print jiggle on the page?
I'm finding that one out of 50 students
in my life style handling class have this problem.
In my lifestyle handling my class they have to do drawings.
These students cannot draw.
They cannot draw a circle.
If I ask them to draw this, they can't draw it.
And then I ask them to read
and they'll say I see the print jiggling.
They'll have a problem back here in the back of the head,
see here in the back of the head is
where the graphics file are assembled back there.
Shape, color, motion, texture circuits.
You've got to assemble that graphics file.
Get a head injury back there like a hockey puck to the back
of the head, give you this problem.
I'm sure you've all seen how the digital TV pixilates
like if the connection isn't quite right
or the satellite dish is shaking.
Well pixilation in the visual system doesn't exactly make you
see all that well.
Kids that have this problem will often look out the corner
of their eye, but quess what their eye exam
that may be normal.
And I'll tell you some simple things
that you can do to fix it.
Try printing the homework on different pastel papers,
light blue, light yellow, pink, light green, gray, lavender.
Also sometimes colored glasses, funky hippie glasses
like from the 60's, pale pink, pale lavender
until you find a color where the print
that doesn't jiggle anymore.
Why does this work, nobody knows.
But wouldn't it be stupid not to experiment with colored paper.
I've seen some students college career get turned
around with some colored glasses and colored paper.
Also make sure you only use a lap top or tablet.
Every other screen's horrible, they flicker.
Laptops and tablets don't flicker.
I'm worried that a lot of gifted, quirky students,
we're not doing enough in this country on gifted education
where certain kids need to be accelerated ahead.
There's kids with a really high IQ that get labeled Asperger's
or they get labeled some other kind of disorder.
See, This is the problem that we have.
You see on the mild end of these various disorders you've
And then on the extreme low end it's a huge handicap.
It is a continuous trade where a little bit
of the trait gives an advantage.
There's some evidence that a little bit
of this schizophrenia trait gives you creativity,
full blown schizophrenia you're definitely not going
to be creative.
Why does that genetic still stay around?
Cause a little bit of it.
People that tend to get depressed tend
to your creative writers.
You get full blown depression you going
to do any creative writing, but a little bit
of that genetics you get an advantage.
You see there's a wide range of brains.
You could make a brain to be more thinking
or you could make a brain to be more emotional.
There's a wide range.
At what point does it become an abnormality?
It's not black and white.
It's not like having tuberculosis
or fungal meningitis,
things that can be very clearly diagnosed.
They do a lab test, you're really wrecked
because you have fungus growing on your spine and in your brain
and this is what it is.
Well, I think it's bad, you know,
just before the economy went down the tubes, that our best
and our brightest mathematicians were going to work
in Wall Street to play with the stock market.
Not a good thing.
Maybe the banks are going to get a wake up call.
They're running on a generator right now.
[Laughter] And maybe the people
that work the generators are the people they really need.
So you get a lot of those people that got too far away
and they all live out in Connecticut
and have trees crashing on power lines, realizing yeah,
they will need those utility guys to fix the wires.
We need to get back to getting people in the real stuff,
but the finance sector would pay more
than the engineering sector.
We've got to get back to doing real things.
We spend more money on fighting over patents
than we do making 'em.
Right now we're spending $80 billion a year messing
around with patent trolls.
Do you know what patent trolls are?
Patent Trolls are people who buy up patents
and they have no intention of making the product,
they just want to sue other people that invent things
in their garage that infringe on these patents.
We have to get back to where making money comes
from doing real things.
Finance people running companies is usually not the best way
to get to inventing real things.
You can see I'm not a big fan of the banks.
We've got to get you looking at what is $80 billion?
How do you imagine these big amounts of money?
$80 billion is equal to 16 Denver airports,
our beautiful Denver airport.
What would you rather have, 16 Denver airports or a bunch
of lawyers just getting rich?
And then the trees can fall on their power lines.
[Laughter] You see, I like to convert that money
into something I can understand.
What's $100 million?
That used to build you a big mega meat plant.
Now it builds you about half of one.
Things have really really gone up in price.
Each one of these airports is worth about five billion.
Buys the land, utilities, roads, the terminal, the runways,
air traffic control, all the car rental buildings.
It gives you everything except things with tires.
Airplanes and vehicles.
Everything else and the contents of shops obviously,
they'll give you the shops, the spaces will be there.
Well, I have a lot of problems with sciatic nerve pain
and I don't walk up to people and say I'm a sciatic [Laughter]
and sciatica becomes my life.
There are great YouTube videos for that.
Type in sciatic nerve pain exercises and if you get the one
where the muscle pinches the nerve of the center of the butt,
just pain in the buttocks, great guy in a hotel room
in his shorts, gives you exercises that really work.
I have stood up in a conference room
and had the red hot poker go down my leg.
There's a guy in a black undershirt
on YouTube and he saved me.
[Laughter] And that is important to me,
but it doesn't define who I am.
And yes, I've done a lot
of brain experimental research things and done a lot of stuff
with autism, but I am a professor first
and a scientist first.
And that's why I put a lot of emphasis on getting kids
into good professions.
Because where are the happy Aspy's?
Oh, they are the ones that get to do the fun stuff.
Well, I think it's time we grab this guy by the horns
and maybe grab him somewhere else
and he probably he's probably like standing
in some water right now.
[Laughter] He's not going to float away, that's for sure.
Okay. I want to thank everybody for coming, it was great.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> And we want to thank you for coming, because you are changing
so many lives, we want to also thank those
who have helped make this happen today and bring you on stage.
Dr. Richard Rhodes of A.C.C. Rick Findley of Whole Foods
and Pamela Buchanan of Texas Autism Project,
they have a special presentation for you.
>> First of all, let me thank you.
And also read a proclamation that being given to you
by the City of Austin.
I have to wear my glasses.
It says be it known whereas autism is fast becoming an
epidemic with another child being diagnosed
with this condition every 15 minutes,
and whereas Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism
at age three and is currently a doctor of animal science
at Colorado State University, she known worldwide for her work
in autism advocacy and whereas we are pleased
to join Austin Community College and Whole Foods
in welcoming Dr. Grandin to our fine city for a showing
of the award winning biographical film about her
and her talk, Autism in my sensory based world
and whereas we extend the best wishes that students
and autism advocates alike benefit
from this special afternoon with Temple Grandin.
Now therefore, I Lee Leffingwell, mayor of the City
of Austin, Texas, do hereby proclaim November 1st, 2012,
as Dr. Temple Grandin day.
[ APPLAUSE ]
Well it's great...Well it's really great to be here
and I'll be around to talk to some people,
anyone has any books I'll sign them
and we've got to keep Austin weird!
[Applause] Thank everyone again for coming out and thank you
to ACC, to the Texas Autism Project and Whole Foods and all
of you for making this happen, thank you.