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Articles    H4'ed 10/27/09

Part Three: Talking with Dr. Temple Grandin, Author of "Animals in Translation"

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Thank goodness.

Yes, thank goodness is right.

But who is there in high schools, and colleges, and college admissions advocate for autistic students?

Sometimes it's a mentor teacher, sometimes it's a parent, sometimes it's a guidance counselor. I had quite a few teachers who were willing to help me when I was in college. Mr. Dionne, the math teacher, I went into his office after nearly every lecture, and he'd tutor me.That was very nice of him to do that - and getting good teachers to take an interest in a student - and I had a number of good teachers.

The other thing is that good teachers get attracted to ability. And they could see the things where I did have ability. And when I was going out and starting my freelance livestock handling equipment business people thought it was really weird. But when I showed them one of my drawings they said "oh wow, you did that?" Then they had respect for me when they saw the drawings. One of the things I had to learn was that I had to sell my work rather than my personality.

That makes perfect sense. In many ways, you live the dream life. You split your time between your two loves - working with the meat processing industry to keep them on target with humane treatment of their livestock and traveling around the country and the world talking with groups about autism. What happens at the sessions regarding autism? Are they support groups? Informational for nonautistic?

They're usually austism conferences. And most of the audience is usually a mixture of parents and teachers, speech therapists and guidance counselors. and a mixture of parents and educators. And a lot of things that I'm telling you right now has come right out of my autism talk.

Do people keep in touch with you - by email or by phone?

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Joan has been the Election Integrity Editor for OpEdNews since December 2005. She writes on a large range of subjects and does many interviews and reviews.
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