Temple Grandin is an activist, a professor, a doctor of animal science, a researcher, an environmentalist, and a renowned public speaker. Temple Grandin is also diagnosed with a high functioning level of autism. Grandin grew up facing a lot of adversity and conflict as a result of her disorder, but in spite of everything she became incredibly prolific in her field. She now travels the world talking about identifying autism, strategies in dealing with autistic children, and even highlights the benefits of an autistic mind. I had the benefit of watching two such talks, one as a part of the M.I.N.D. Institute Lecture Series on Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and another as a part of TED conference speech series.
In her M.I.N.D. speech, Grandin starts by discussing her upbringing as an autistic child, and some of her personal views on children with autism. One of the things Grandin really appeared to want the audience to know, was that her thought patterns are not based in language; she thinks in images. Thoughts are represented in her head as various, specific, pictures that she has seen throughout her life. Even abstract thoughts, such as justice are represented in her mind by images, such as a court case Grandin thought came out with a just verdict.
[...] Checklists and rating scales are also useful aides and tools. Le Couteur, Haden, Hammal, and McConachie (2008) found that the two standardized rating assessment for autism, the Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) proved to equally test with validity. However Le Counteur et al. (2008) still stress the importance of a fully comprehensive treatment plan, something that Grandin lacked in her explanations. Grandin did, however, hit the nail on the head when it came to treating those with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome. [...]
[...] The fact the Temple Grandin is afflicted with disorder she speaks about is truly very interesting. In many cases, having the disorder allows her to speak from experience and shine more light on it than a textbook or article perhaps could, but in other cases it clearly biases her view on psychopathologies. Either way, it makes for some very interesting deviations from information on autism spectrum disorders that may be taught. Paritz and Troy (2011) explain a few of the leading beliefs of the etiological consideration for autism spectrum disorders. [...]
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