I recently sat down with Dr. Temple Grandin as she prepared to present at the 2019 Converge Autism Summit presented by Springbrook Behavioral Health in Greenville, SC. Diagnosed with autism as a toddler and nonverbal until she was nearly four years old, she has achieved great heights as an author, speaker, professor of animal science, and a woman on the autism spectrum. While we sat together at a small café table, Temple, a passionate autism advocate, shared how she had recently met a 14-year-old girl who had never gone shopping. "What about life skills? I don't understand it.
How will these kids get jobs someday?" she exasperatedly asked. Her answer: through early diagnosis and intervention, by building a child's strength through social skills, and not getting hung up on labels. After all, that's what her family did for her back in the 1950s. Temple passionately encouraged parents during her presentation to provide as many experiences as possible and to build on a child's strengths because that's when learning takes place.
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