An animal behavior expert from the U.S. told a conference in Dublin on Friday that autistic children should learn how to work.
Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University who has autism, but went on to become a renowned scholar who designed humane handling systems for half of the cattle processing facilities in North America, said she sees “too many [autistic] kids that are fully verbal that aren’t learning how to work,” according to The Irish Times.
“I don’t like it when nine-year-olds walk up to me and they want to tell me about their autism. I want to hear about their science project or their history project or the art they’ve done. Things that they’ve done that they can turn into a career,” Grandin said at the All-Ireland State Veterinarians’ Scientific Conference.
Grandin, originally from Boston, became fascinated with horses in her youth, and spent much time at her aunt’s farm growing up.
“I would rather see a kid get fixated on something they can turn into a career rather than getting fixated on his autism,” Grandin told the conference.
She was teased at school, but used her ability to “think in pictures” to eventually forge a career as an academic and advocate for animals.
“When I was younger, I didn’t know that everybody didn’t think in pictures . . . I didn’t understand why people thought it was strange to be looking at what cattle were looking at,” she said.
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned