Temple Grandin came to our school to visit the students and to help us (as Spectrum team members) to know how to better improve the lives of our students. I captured the conversation on tape and wow...she blows my mind. It was an honor to meet her and to gain the insight that she has.
We sat at the luncheon and just let her talk about ways to improve teaching children who have ASD. She talked about 5 key points: 1) the students need to learn how to work, 2) get hands on projects--it you have an old engine, bring it in and have the kids take it apart and rebuild it. 3) Video games are today's heroin or eye candy...life is not meant to be entertaining...it's hard work! 4) teach manners, and 5) let the students work sell the student.
She talked about how the HBO movie really did a great job of how she thinks in pictures, and all the drawings, sketches, and projects in the movie are all hers. Yep she is eating meatballs, salad, soup, and fruit and chocolate for dessert. I'm a witness.
Temple is telling us about her "1950's" up bringing and how she is "disgusted" how society can't even talk or communicate with each other, much less those on the Spectrum. She said that if she struggled in a subject she would seek out a tutor for help. If she needed to learn how to get around in a city, then she would get a map and learn how. She is "disgusted" at "how many ASD adults are on welfare playing video games..." Interesting stuff!
|Temple is showing up how the "Spectrum" works and where she is on it.|
As a founding parent of Spectrum Academy, this picture means a lot. I never thought that I would meet someone who is so inspiring for so many and that I would get to have a picture of she and I together? This is just cool stuff!
Temple visiting Kindergarten: Miss Liz's classroom. She was really smiling when she walked in this room.
Greetings and meetings. One thing that Temple talked about was always making improvements: she still has a social coach that helps her to improve her social skills. For example, when she is asked questions at an assembly, she now visualizes a stop watch that is set for 60 seconds and has only that about of time to answer the question. And when the time is up, she'll stop.
|Reading a story....|
This is Temple meeting my son Isaac. I love the eye to eye contact in this picture. She is really sizing him up and he felt it. I love how she is checking him out!
Temple, Me, and Isaac. Isaac was nervous for this picture and as you can see, he is just about as far away, but still close enough to make an impact. I'm just so proud of him for taking the picture...
These next few pictures give you an idea of how packed our gym was. We were at wall to wall and floor to floor. So many people were empowered by this moment that we had many tearful moms and dads in the audience...me included.
As Temple was talking it suddenly hit me...8 parents with one idea...look at it! We build one school, then another, and now we able to help 300+ students and soon another 200...I just became so overwhelmed that I was sobbing. It is an amazing thing to take an idea, put it on paper, set goals, and pour in hard work...look what it can accomplish!
She answered many questions, but the one that I liked the best was this: Student: "Do you still use your "squeeze" machine?" Temple: "Well it broke a few years back and so now...now I just get hugs from people." See, improvements all the time.
This is Garrett enjoying the show. Temple: "work on your strengths as well as your deficits. Remember, Different...Not Less!"