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May 9, 2022

My Conversation with Temple Grandin (feat. Dr. Temple Grandin) S5E10

My Conversation with Temple Grandin (feat. Dr. Temple Grandin) S5E10

Dr. Temple Grandin is here today to help parents prepare their autistic kids for the workforce. This is so important as our kids get older. Temple has a ton of very specific advice, insight, and experience that she will share over the next 30 minutes.


Dr. Temple Grandin is here today to help parents prepare their autistic kids for the workforce. This is so important as our kids get older. Temple has a ton of very specific advice, insight, and experience that she will share over the next 30 minutes.

We also talk about helping to manage our kid’s sensory needs.

Temple is an amazing human being, and I was lucky enough to sit down with her at The National Converge Autism Summit by Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health in Greenville, South Carolina. It was such an honor to meet her, and I learned so much from our time together.

You can find more information about Temple Grandin by clicking here

As mentioned, you can find Kate Swenson’s book Forever Boy here.

You can find me here.

This episode is sponsored by:

Mentioned in this episode:

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Mightier is a clinically proven mobile gaming app that was developed at Boston Children’s Hospital. It’s already helped more than 100,000 kids, including my crew here at home. Kids play on a tablet or a phone while wearing a heart rate monitor. And Mightier incorporates breathing exercises and other calming techniques as part of the game. Kids get to see when it’s time to cool down and learn how to do it themselves. And parents get to track their progress.

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Transcript

Rob Gorski:

Welcome to The Autism Dad Podcast.

 

Rob Gorski:

I'm Rob Gorski and I have the most amazing guest for you guys today.

 

Rob Gorski:

It's none other than the amazing Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Temple Grandin.

 

Rob Gorski:

And if you're wondering, how did I get the amazing Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Temple Grandin?

 

Rob Gorski:

I'm going to tell you.

 

Rob Gorski:

Okay, so sit tight.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, at the end of April, I was invited down to the national coverage autism summit.

 

Rob Gorski:

It's put on by Springbrook autism, behavioral health in Greenville, South Carolina.

 

Rob Gorski:

They asked me to come down and help do some promotional things for the event, social media stuff, marketing stuff, blogging podcasts.

 

Rob Gorski:

Part of that was exclusive access to the keynote speakers and staff of the Springbrook facility as well.

 

Rob Gorski:

One of those keynote speakers, Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Temple Grandin, and I got to spend an extensive amount of time with her.

 

Rob Gorski:

And we had a really good conversation about helping autistic kids, transition to adulthood, find employment, navigating things like sensory issues.

 

Rob Gorski:

I mean, it was a really good conversation to help parents better understand and help their kids to navigate life.

 

Rob Gorski:

Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Grandin is very passionate about helping autistic kids and educating parents.

 

Rob Gorski:

She so freely gave of her time.

 

Rob Gorski:

I'm so grateful for that.

 

Rob Gorski:

I'm so excited for you guys to check this out.

 

Rob Gorski:

So I'm just going to go ahead and stop talking now and I'll pick up with the recording.

 

Rob Gorski:

This was recorded on April 29th.

 

Rob Gorski:

So without further ado, Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Temple Grandin.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you so much.

 

Rob Gorski:

For joining me today, I really appreciate it.

 

Rob Gorski:

We were starting to talk about sensory stuff and we were talking about how I've had a lot of help from autistic adults in the community to help me better understand my three kids who are struggling with sensory issues.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, I was, I'm asking you where the autistic adults were the most helpful and you were saying was sensitive.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I would totally agree with that.

 

Temple Grandin:

I have a certain amount of sensory.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, when I was a child, I couldn't tolerate certain loud noise.

 

Temple Grandin:

That was a real problem.

 

Temple Grandin:

I still have to have a hard time Sinise buying pants that don't itch.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's especially an issue of I'm on an airplane.

 

Temple Grandin:

And another problem that I have in noisy environments, I can't hear conversations.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm basically kind of functionally deaf, really.

 

Temple Grandin:

And, and, uh, okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

So how would I work in noisy places?

 

Temple Grandin:

You know, like meat plants.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, I would just say let's step outside and do the conversation because I just can't hear when there's background noise.

 

Rob Gorski:

My youngest, he lives in sweat pants is his like comfort thing.

 

Rob Gorski:

How can parents help to better understand?

 

Temple Grandin:

There, there are some sensory things we're going to have to do something about it.

 

Temple Grandin:

Let's start with some of the touch stuff on.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

When I changed from one kind of pants to the other.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, there's a certain amount of adaptation I can do so you don't have to live in sweatpants, but there's, then there's a point where certain khakis itch some of the cheap ones and that's just not going to work.

 

Temple Grandin:

But what we need to be doing to get out of sweatpants is find another pair of pants that they can tolerate, and it may take some time to tolerate them.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then those just become your pants.

 

Temple Grandin:

You see, this is where changing the type of clothing.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's often a problem I can remember in the summer wearing shorts.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then having a hard time switching to long pants, not just wear long pants all the time and my work clothes and my good clothes feel a same.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

Um, but you know, let him get, have some choice of picking, picking out what he, uh, and then it takes some time for them to adjust.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then there's some things that will not be able to adjust to like itchy will.

 

Temple Grandin:

There's no way I'm going to adjust to that, but some stuff they can adjust to and then you find something that looks decent.

 

Temple Grandin:

The second, where now, if a women there's those leggings, I really liked those I'd have no problems wearing those all the time and you just would get them in different colors and wear those.

 

Temple Grandin:

Um, you know, we need to find some solutions to these problems.

 

Temple Grandin:

I heard about, um, young man who got fired from a bookstore cause he wouldn't wear a tie.

 

Temple Grandin:

We'll just get this collar on the shirt, a size too big, and you won't even feel the top.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

You see, as a visual thinker, I'm thinking a little way to solve that problem.

 

Temple Grandin:

Another problem, you can have a, not everybody on the spectrum has it is flicker in fluorescent lights, which are being phased out cheap led lights.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yup.

 

Temple Grandin:

And that it gets into, it has to be fixed category.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

They, they pulsate.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's the problem.

 

Temple Grandin:

And these are the same kids that when they go to read, they might complain about the print jiggling on the page.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

That I don't, I'm going to guess that maybe 20%, 15% of people with autism have this visual problem.

 

Temple Grandin:

I don't know.

 

Temple Grandin:

But I had student had this problem and she'd get in certain classrooms and she would just kind of space out and looking at accommodations, you might have to make an office.

 

Temple Grandin:

Sometimes you can fix it by getting over by a window, or you could change the led lights that are near that desk.

 

Temple Grandin:

But this is in the, it must be fixed category for certain people.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then problems like loud noise.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, there are some kids that got over a fear of things like hairdryers and vacuum clean.

 

Temple Grandin:

By letting the kid run the vacuum cleaner, where they control it, they control it and turn it on.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then sometimes they can get better at tolerating things.

 

Rob Gorski:

So do you feel like it's okay to challenge our kids to, um, because as I spoke, we spoke earlier while we were looking at your books and I, I have three autistic kids and I have always thought that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Um, challenging them without pushing them too far, know their limits, know their limits and then challenge them so that they can grow well

 

Temple Grandin:

that's right now that's absolutely right.

 

Temple Grandin:

And one of the problems with sound sensitivity is wearing headphones all the time.

 

Temple Grandin:

If you do that, the sound sensitivity will worsen, but sometimes what works is you can have the headphone with you all the time.

 

Temple Grandin:

Have it.

 

Temple Grandin:

We're try not to wear it, but you got it with you.

 

Temple Grandin:

See this element of control is really important, but then there's other places where I simply can't hear in noisy restaurants.

 

Temple Grandin:

And there's a kind of high-speed chit-chat conversation that a lot of people do.

 

Temple Grandin:

They're having such a good time.

 

Temple Grandin:

I can't.

 

Temple Grandin:

I just don't have the processing speed to follow it.

 

Temple Grandin:

So what happens to me at a party is I'll pick out one person and talk to them.

 

Temple Grandin:

Then I'll go over and pick out somebody else and talk to them because these, you know, maybe five way chitchat conversations.

 

Temple Grandin:

I interrupt.

 

Temple Grandin:

I can't like processor speed is too slow to get the timing.

 

Temple Grandin:

Right.

 

Rob Gorski:

Okay.

 

Rob Gorski:

And so you just

 

Temple Grandin:

find ways to adapt that's right.

 

Temple Grandin:

You find ways to adapt without getting completely stressed out.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

And there's certain jobs I'd want to avoid.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, busy takeout window too much.

 

Temple Grandin:

Multitasking.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now another thing that's a problem is I was just talking to some parents the other day.

 

Temple Grandin:

The boy was supposed to take clean golf carts and pick up golf balls.

 

Temple Grandin:

And he didn't remember the, the sequence of things he was supposed to do.

 

Temple Grandin:

Give them a pilot's checklist, just bullet points.

 

Temple Grandin:

Step one, step two, step three.

 

Temple Grandin:

Simple pilot's checklist because I can.

 

Temple Grandin:

Remember long strings of verbal instruction.

 

Temple Grandin:

And that's a very, very simple, simple accommodation.

 

Temple Grandin:

See people say, well, I need accommodations.

 

Temple Grandin:

I want to get a lot more specific.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

I have the problem with the lighting.

 

Temple Grandin:

Um, they would be like this Roman here had lighting that flickered.

 

Temple Grandin:

There's gonna be people that will not be able to work in this Roman.

 

Temple Grandin:

It has no windows in this convention center, the problem with, uh, you know, noise.

 

Temple Grandin:

Some people need to have some breaks, but I'm also trying to figure out how to, how to fix things in a simple way.

 

Temple Grandin:

Like I was talking to some parents, their boy had worked in an ice cream shop and he didn't like scooping ice cream.

 

Temple Grandin:

Cause his hand got cold.

 

Temple Grandin:

I said, Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

I immediately saw a solution to that.

 

Temple Grandin:

And the neck tight thing, you lost a job at a bookstore cause you wouldn't wear a neck tie.

 

Temple Grandin:

Just get a shirt.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's got a collar.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's one size too big.

 

Temple Grandin:

You won't even feel the neck tie.

 

Temple Grandin:

You see, that's a simple thing to do.

 

Temple Grandin:

Also wearing soft t-shirts under the clothes can be really helpful.

 

Rob Gorski:

So we do think we

 

Temple Grandin:

overthink things a lot.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, there's a tendency to talk about.

 

Temple Grandin:

I need accommodations where I want to get very specific.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, the pilot's checklist for task involving sequence is really important.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then multitasking, there's certain jobs I completely want to avoid such as a crazy busy takeout window, a, uh, a store at Christmas time.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's chaotic.

 

Temple Grandin:

There was one person that was doing very well at an Amazon warehouse very well for three months, pandemic came that warehouse turned into chaos when the pandemic started and, uh, they, they couldn't do the.

 

Temple Grandin:

But that, but the pandemic made that warehouse completely crazy.

 

Rob Gorski:

The other thing that I wanted to ask you was, uh, we were talking a little bit ago about my, my oldest who's transitioning into adulthood and you would ask me if he had a job yet and he doesn't, and we're, we're looking for job training

 

Temple Grandin:

and stuff.

 

Temple Grandin:

That, how old is he?

 

Temple Grandin:

22.

 

Temple Grandin:

He's 22.

 

Temple Grandin:

All right.

 

Temple Grandin:

Let's talk about the different kinds of minds and the kinds of jobs.

 

Temple Grandin:

Different kinds of minds can do.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm what's called an object visualizer.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

Can't do hierarchy.

 

Temple Grandin:

Had to be tutored tutored tutored in statistics.

 

Temple Grandin:

Can't do algebra managed to get out of it, but my kind of mind is good at art, photography, animals, and mechanics, that my kind of mine, art and mechanics actually go together.

 

Temple Grandin:

And some of the people that object visualizers like me that are addicted to video games.

 

Temple Grandin:

Car mechanics.

 

Temple Grandin:

There has been four successful young adults weaned off of video games with car mechanics and they, young adults found that the car mechanics was more interesting than the video games.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now, shelving groceries is not more easy.

 

Temple Grandin:

You're not going to replace a video game with shoving groceries, right.

 

Temple Grandin:

But something like car mechanics.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now I worked with a lot of people out in India.

 

Temple Grandin:

Uh, that weird guy in a shop that could build anything.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I look back on the people I've worked with on installing complicated equipment.

 

Temple Grandin:

20% of them were undiagnosed autistic ADHD or dyslexic, and you know what?

 

Temple Grandin:

They're not getting replaced.

 

Temple Grandin:

And right now I've got plants to know cattle have gotten bigger.

 

Temple Grandin:

I've got a piece of equipment where we're going on.

 

Temple Grandin:

The adjustments no longer can be adjusted anymore.

 

Temple Grandin:

We're going to have to wide net.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm going to be back out on the plant floor, fixing some of this stuff.

 

Temple Grandin:

They're going to be pulling the retirees out of the, you know, wherever they're at and the thing that's really bad.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's the people I worked with are not getting replaced.

 

Temple Grandin:

They're playing video games in the base.

 

Temple Grandin:

And one of the reasons why I put so much emphasis on career is because that's what makes life worthwhile.

 

Temple Grandin:

I've done things to improve the cattle industry.

 

Temple Grandin:

So my kind of mind going back to the kinds of minds, visual thinkers, and, um, uh, then you have the mathematics thinkers.

 

Temple Grandin:

This is the pattern thinker.

 

Temple Grandin:

They don't think in pictures, they think in patterns, these are your music and math minds, your programmers and your university degree to engineering.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then you've got your word thinkers.

 

Temple Grandin:

So God, and I get asked all the time, how do I figure it out?

 

Temple Grandin:

What kind of a thinker?

 

Temple Grandin:

The kid is video game addicts are probably going to be visual thinkers.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm going to dress.

 

Temple Grandin:

There's been four successes with car mechanics.

 

Temple Grandin:

One of the guys who's fixing trains.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now the railroad loves him.

 

Temple Grandin:

Very, very cool.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then you mathematicians, they're working all of a Silicon valley doing coding programming, but somebody has to expose these kids to COVID.

 

Temple Grandin:

And that's not happening.

 

Temple Grandin:

People get so locked into the label.

 

Temple Grandin:

They can't imagine that their kid can do anything.

 

Rob Gorski:

That's so true.

 

Rob Gorski:

My oldest, uh, who's 22.

 

Rob Gorski:

We were told when he was growing up that he would never do this or do that, or do all those things and, and he is doing amazing, like absolutely amazing.

 

Rob Gorski:

And, uh, I always say like every time I think I couldn't be.

 

Rob Gorski:

Of my kids.

 

Rob Gorski:

They always prove me wrong, you know, because they do something that just blows my mind and they do something that, uh, maybe they thought they'd never be able to do, or they overcome an obstacle or they find a way around it, you know?

 

Rob Gorski:

Cause they just never quit.

 

Rob Gorski:

They never give up.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, the thing is, is that these different kinds of minds access.

 

Temple Grandin:

And what people wouldn't think that art and photography and mechanics go together, but they do then the mathematicians, it's a more abstract kind of visualization.

 

Temple Grandin:

In fact, I've got a new book coming out, the tune galley proof right now held visual, thinking the hidden talents of people who think in pictures, patterns, and abstractions.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's my youngest.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I want to see people get into good career because I just recently saw a zoom call and there was a man on there in his forties.

 

Temple Grandin:

Visual thinker like me, he's become a professional photographer.

 

Temple Grandin:

And when I listened to him talk about that, he's like so happy, just so happy.

 

Temple Grandin:

And, and the people that I worked with, some of them that own large shops, there's a guy who stutters ADHD, dyslexic.

 

Temple Grandin:

Rotten student took a single welding class as a giant shop, 20 patents selling stuff around the world.

 

Temple Grandin:

See, this is one of the things that kind of makes me want to pull my hair out.

 

Temple Grandin:

As I go back and forth between the autism world and the industrial and the livestock world.

 

Temple Grandin:

We need these people fixed factories and stuff, and the industry's about tearing their hair out right now.

 

Temple Grandin:

I, um, just was on, in a limo with a retired tire factory manager.

 

Temple Grandin:

And, uh, we discussed this.

 

Temple Grandin:

At the same problem at the tire factory.

 

Rob Gorski:

Do you have any advice for parents who are trying to help their kids to find a job?

 

Temple Grandin:

All right, let's start off.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yours is 22, but let's start off with the kids in the pipeline.

 

Temple Grandin:

I want to start teaching job skills young.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

There's all kinds of grandparents that discovered they're autistic when the kids are diagnosed, but that grandparent had a paper route.

 

Temple Grandin:

So we got to find substitutes of paper routes, things like.

 

Temple Grandin:

Church volunteer job.

 

Temple Grandin:

Um, farmer's market volunteer, job, Ontarian, an old folks, home, something where you're doing something on a schedule and somebody outside the family's, the boss that's really important for accountability.

 

Temple Grandin:

Somebody outside the family has to be the boss or even walking somebody else's dog.

 

Temple Grandin:

So you've got to be accountable to somebody outside the family, instant, the legal, we need to get them in the marketplace.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I want to avoid the crazy multi-tasking crazy takeout window.

 

Temple Grandin:

I want to avoid that.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then the pilot's checklist for anything involving a sequence.

 

Temple Grandin:

They do not remember verbal

 

Rob Gorski:

instruction, right?

 

Rob Gorski:

I I'm I'm 43 years old and I was just going through a process, being diagnosed with ADHD, myself and I have found.

 

Rob Gorski:

The checklist to be one of the most amazing things that really helps me to, uh, keep on task.

 

Temple Grandin:

So simple.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's so simple.

 

Temple Grandin:

And if there's a boss at some company that boxing and say, I was on a plane this morning, and my pilot had to do a checklist, whether he wants to or not, it is required.

 

Temple Grandin:

And it's also a very simple accommodation.

 

Temple Grandin:

I, you see people getting something like I have all these combinations.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, let's just play some of the very simple accommodation.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, pilot's checklist is a piece of paper and you, and you did you make it like bullet points to just jog the memory or the steps of that?

 

Temple Grandin:

And you

 

Rob Gorski:

can check things off as you're.

 

Rob Gorski:

I like for me, when I do it, they're checklists and I check them off as I go so that I, I move from one task

 

Temple Grandin:

to the other, and that's a very, very simple accommodation.

 

Temple Grandin:

And we have a tendency to over-generalize you say?

 

Temple Grandin:

And then HR people and people at businesses go well, that accommodation is going to be way too.

 

Temple Grandin:

This is a piece of

 

Rob Gorski:

paper.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, it's a simple accommodation and I've seen problems where somebody on the spectrum has had a good job.

 

Temple Grandin:

And then they changed bosses that can sometimes really be a problem.

 

Temple Grandin:

But I also see too many parents that won't let go to let their kid learn the most basic stuff like shopping, ordering food at a fast food place.

 

Temple Grandin:

Basic skills, 16 year olds that have never gone shopping by themselves.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's ridiculous.

 

Rob Gorski:

Yeah.

 

Rob Gorski:

I think parents were over-protective and we're afraid to let our kids go out into the world because the world can be an unforgiving place.

 

Rob Gorski:

I was one of those parents until probably last couple years.

 

Rob Gorski:

And I realized that just like any other kid, my kids need to have those experiences where they fail or they fall down and they it's how they learned to get back up.

 

Rob Gorski:

That's how they learn to do these things on their own.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, the other thing that I think is one of the worst things that's happening in schools is taking out hands-on classes.

 

Temple Grandin:

If I had an art, sewing and woodworking, I would have hated elementary school and taken out all the shop classes that's really bad because I worked with people out in industry own big shops.

 

Temple Grandin:

That was saved by a single welding class.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now I'm not saying welding's fairy buddy, but we have a serious skill loss right now in the us and taking those classes out.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's a gigantic mistake, especially for my kind of mind, the visual thinker and what worries me right now is we don't have young people coming up to do these jobs.

 

Temple Grandin:

And you're talking about complicated stuff in big factories.

 

Temple Grandin:

That people on the spectrum.

 

Temple Grandin:

They're my age are building all industries, not just a livestock industry

 

Rob Gorski:

and we don't have people coming in to replace.

 

Rob Gorski:

They're

 

Temple Grandin:

not coming in to replace them.

 

Temple Grandin:

They're retiring out and I may have to go back out.

 

Temple Grandin:

I may have a labor day weekend, the back out on the plant floor again, because they need my help.

 

Temple Grandin:

And it made me kind of upset the thing that we're not well, I'll be so be 75.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm way past retirement age.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm not gonna be lifting anything up, but I can visualize how to, how to fix the equipment.

 

Temple Grandin:

I was half asleep on a plane and I've got the light bulb went off.

 

Temple Grandin:

I saw it, but I want to see these kids that are different, get out and be successful.

 

Rob Gorski:

So should our kids pursue,

 

Temple Grandin:

should we, what I'm saying, what we need to be doing?

 

Temple Grandin:

Let's look at career advancement.

 

Temple Grandin:

It starts with exposure helping you find out you either love metalworking or hate.

 

Temple Grandin:

If you don't try it, or maybe you like photography and you don't really try it, uh, you also have to learn how to do things on assignment.

 

Temple Grandin:

If you're a professional photographer, you've got to take pictures that other people are going to want, not just what you want to take pictures of.

 

Temple Grandin:

It has to be pictures they want.

 

Temple Grandin:

And when I was in high school, I had a little sign painting business, really.

 

Temple Grandin:

And my very first job was a sign for a hair salon and had to make a sign that she would want.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I'm realizing now what an important skill that is, but where we're falling down is the transition to the world of fork.

 

Temple Grandin:

We're doing a good job with our little ones and a really bad job on the world of work

 

Rob Gorski:

and people they hit 18 and then drops

 

Temple Grandin:

off.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, I want to get rid of jumping off a cliff in 18 or age 22, whatever it is.

 

Temple Grandin:

I want to start the working skills at around age 11.

 

Temple Grandin:

Volunteer jobs outside the family, or maybe to get paid a little bit for walking that dog.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

And they got to give it a quality 15 minute walk and somebody else's dog.

 

Temple Grandin:

So there is accountability.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's not a F it's a, or it's church volunteer job.

 

Temple Grandin:

You put your good clothes on.

 

Temple Grandin:

You're going to pass out programs and shake hands with everybody.

 

Temple Grandin:

You have to do it every week,

 

Rob Gorski:

even if they're.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, I'm not going to throw them into sensory overload.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

I'm not going to put them in a chaotic store at Christmas time.

 

Temple Grandin:

No, we're not.

 

Temple Grandin:

But now let's look at some churches, have really loud music.

 

Temple Grandin:

Let the kid control the soundboard.

 

Temple Grandin:

You know what?

 

Temple Grandin:

He'll crank.

 

Temple Grandin:

'cause he's controlling it.

 

Temple Grandin:

He's controlling it.

 

Temple Grandin:

See, this is some of the key, so it's not happening to him.

 

Temple Grandin:

A he's controlling it.

 

Temple Grandin:

It's on the other hand because of my processing problems on chit-chat talk really social talk in a restaurant.

 

Temple Grandin:

I can't even follow it.

 

Temple Grandin:

That's where I do have a limitation.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now that doesn't affect.

 

Temple Grandin:

Design work because you don't use a working memory for that.

 

Temple Grandin:

It doesn't affect someone doing programming.

 

Temple Grandin:

I tried probably on me.

 

Temple Grandin:

I couldn't do it, but what I'm seeing kids, aren't getting exposed to enough different options to find out what they might be good at in some cases.

 

Temple Grandin:

All right.

 

Rob Gorski:

That makes sense.

 

Rob Gorski:

They're playing video games.

 

Rob Gorski:

They're uh, they're not getting that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Hands-on.

 

Temple Grandin:

Well, the other thing is like Elon Musk messed around with video games, but he wanted to open the video game.

 

Temple Grandin:

Arcade I an and I played on there.

 

Temple Grandin:

Oh, the other thing is, is that the old video games would break all the time and you get, what's called a blue screen of death that comes up with all this code that doesn't happen anymore.

 

Temple Grandin:

I call that computers showing their guts, and then that's something where, where the kid would get interested in all that.

 

Temple Grandin:

Now it just freezes and doesn't just freezes and they're not, they're not what I'm saying with the video games is I'm not seeing, going into great careers.

 

Temple Grandin:

Also the programming, there's all kinds of great jobs.

 

Temple Grandin:

And I've been doing talks with, um, tech company.

 

Temple Grandin:

IBM S and pay Amazon, uh, Dell computer, where they're actively reaching out to the autistic community because they've got skills that they need, they need, because you have all this infrastructure just to keep the cloud, working, to keep all the shopping stuff, working.

 

Temple Grandin:

There's huge infrastructure that they need people to run that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, thank you very, very much.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate the conversation.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you for helping me pick out the perfect books.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really

 

Temple Grandin:

appreciate that.

 

Temple Grandin:

I lied in the autistic brain book.

 

Temple Grandin:

I talk about the different jobs for the different kinds of minds.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

That'll fit in

 

Rob Gorski:

good at the episode

 

Temple Grandin:

too, because I'm concerned that she sounded the most stressful stuff I ever did, but also the most fun stuff I ever did was figuring out how to build stuff.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

And.

 

Temple Grandin:

I think the people that, that I worked with, um, I don't think they'd be very happy if they didn't have their careers.

 

Temple Grandin:

See, having, see, for me my main sense of identity, I'm a university professor do research.

 

Temple Grandin:

I design equipment.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

You see that?

 

Temple Grandin:

I am what I do.

 

Temple Grandin:

And that's one of the reasons why I think it's so important to.

 

Temple Grandin:

Interesting career.

 

Temple Grandin:

Cool.

 

Temple Grandin:

And also a career where I've worked on improving a cattle industry, improving how they treat cattle.

 

Temple Grandin:

I think that's important.

 

Temple Grandin:

It is doing something useful cause you sense a purpose.

 

Temple Grandin:

Yeah.

 

Temple Grandin:

I think the sense of purpose is really, really important.

 

Temple Grandin:

Very cool.

 

Temple Grandin:

But that's really important.

 

Temple Grandin:

That whole sense of purpose is really, really important.

 

Temple Grandin:

Okay.

 

Rob Gorski:

I'll remember that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you.

 

Rob Gorski:

Okay.

 

Temple Grandin:

It was really nice to meet you.

 

Temple Grandin:

Good to meet.

 

Rob Gorski:

Before I close things out today.

 

Rob Gorski:

I want to just take a couple of minutes and say a few things.

 

Rob Gorski:

One, I want to say thank you to Dr.

 

Rob Gorski:

Temple Grandin for taking the time to sit down with me and having these conversations.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, we actually had a couple of conversations only, only this main one was recorded.

 

Rob Gorski:

Um, it was such an amazing experience.

 

Rob Gorski:

You were so generous with your time and so easy to talk to.

 

Rob Gorski:

I appreciate all of your insights and your.

 

Rob Gorski:

To help me better understand my kids, you know?

 

Rob Gorski:

Um, thank you for that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, on a, on a kind of, kind of a funny side note, I guess I was at temples, uh, the table that they had set up there, her bookstore, and I don't know, there's like 30 books there and I was trying to pick out a book for someone special at home.

 

Rob Gorski:

And I was having kind of a hard time deciding which one to go with and tempo walked up to me and she asked me what I was looking for.

 

Rob Gorski:

I kind of told her a little bit about what I was looking for.

 

Rob Gorski:

And she picked out two books that I had to have and she signed them and she told me they were the perfect ones and it was so cool.

 

Rob Gorski:

Right?

 

Rob Gorski:

Like you can't go wrong with that and brought them home.

 

Rob Gorski:

They were a huge hit.

 

Rob Gorski:

So thank you temple for that.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, and thank you for being you and sharing your knowledge and everything that you do.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you so much.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, I also want to thank a couple of the people who made this possible.

 

Rob Gorski:

First of all, I want to thank.

 

Rob Gorski:

I've been invited to a lot of these summits or expos or conferences over the years.

 

Rob Gorski:

And I have always said, no, a lot of it was due to fear.

 

Rob Gorski:

You know, I, I was not confident enough to go do it.

 

Rob Gorski:

I was not, I didn't believe enough in myself, but she has built me up.

 

Rob Gorski:

She has helped me to find that confidence and that strength and that courage to kind of step outside my comfort zone and go do something amazing.

 

Rob Gorski:

Like I just did.

 

Rob Gorski:

And I'm so grateful for you and your love and support.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you so much.

 

Rob Gorski:

I love you.

 

Rob Gorski:

I also want to thank everyone who helped to, uh, watch my kids while I was gone.

 

Rob Gorski:

It's a big deal.

 

Rob Gorski:

So thank you.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate all of you.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you to my kids, especially for being patient with me and, uh, and behaving while I was gone.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you guys.

 

Rob Gorski:

I love you so much.

 

Rob Gorski:

I want to say thank you to a couple people from the conference.

 

Rob Gorski:

Uh, Kate Swenson.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you for your help.

 

Rob Gorski:

While we are down there.

 

Rob Gorski:

Keith Swenson is a Cooper's mom, uh, from finding Cooper's voice.

 

Rob Gorski:

She was down there to promote her new book.

 

Rob Gorski:

Boy as well as do a lot of the same stuff that I was doing.

 

Rob Gorski:

And, uh, we kind of teamed up on a bunch of things.

 

Rob Gorski:

If you haven't checked out forever boy yet, check it out.

 

Rob Gorski:

It's a fantastic book.

 

Rob Gorski:

I listened to it on my nine hour car ride back.

 

Rob Gorski:

Amazing book.

 

Rob Gorski:

I cannot recommend it enough.

 

Rob Gorski:

So I'll put a link in the show notes below.

 

Rob Gorski:

So you guys can check that out.

 

Rob Gorski:

I want to thank rein and Matt, Wendy for helping to set up all the stuff that I needed to do while I was down there.

 

Rob Gorski:

And for inviting me down there in the first place they were the marketing team or part of the marketing team that made all the arrangement.

 

Rob Gorski:

Set up the interviews and got me anything that I needed while I was down there.

 

Rob Gorski:

They were predator a lot of support.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate it.

 

Rob Gorski:

Can't wait to see you guys again next year.

 

Rob Gorski:

And uh, I want to thank Scott from Springbrook.

 

Rob Gorski:

We had a really amazing conversation at dinner, such a cool guy.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you for everything.

 

Rob Gorski:

Um, hope see you again, and, uh, thank you to my sponsors.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate you guys.

 

Rob Gorski:

Make sure you check them out to be in the show notes below and anybody that I missed along the way as always can find me at the autism dead dot.

 

Rob Gorski:

All of my social links are at the top of the page.

 

Rob Gorski:

You can subscribe to and listen to this podcast.

 

Rob Gorski:

And any one of your favorite podcasts as an app, just hit that subscribe button.

 

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate it.

 

Rob Gorski:

And then maybe rate it if you don't mind, that'd be super cool and recommend me to your friends.

 

Rob Gorski:

Right?

 

Rob Gorski:

There's a lot of people who can learn important things from these episodes.

 

Rob Gorski:

So I appreciate if you could spread the word.

 

Rob Gorski:

Thank you.

 

Rob Gorski:

So you guys have a great week and I will talk to you soon.

 

Rob Gorski:

All right.

 

Rob Gorski:

See you.

 

 

Dr. Temple Grandin Profile Photo

Dr. Temple Grandin

Author/Advocate/Ph.D. /Professor

Dr. Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old. She was fortunate to get early speech therapy. Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games. She was mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten at age five. Oliver Sacks wrote in the forward of Thinking in Pictures that her first book Emergence: Labeled Autistic was “unprecedented because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism.” Dr. Sacks profiled Dr. Grandin in his best selling book Anthropologist on Mars.

Dr. Grandin became a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior. Today she is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare. She has been featured on NPR (National Public Radio) and a BBC Special – "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow". She has also appeared on National TV shows such as Larry King Live, 20/20, Sixty Minutes, Fox and Friends, and she has a 2010 TED talk. Articles about Dr. Grandin have appeared in Time Magazine, New York Times, Discover Magazine, Forbes and USA Today. HBO made an Emmy Award winning movie about her life and she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.

When she was young, she was considered weird and teased and bullied in high school. The only place she had friends was activities where there was a shared interest such as horses, electronics, or model rockets. Mr. Carlock, her science teacher, was an important mentor who encouraged her interest in science. When she had a new goal of becoming a scientist, she had a reason for studying. Today half the cattle in the United States are handled in facilities she has designed.