When the American Psychiatric Association revised the diagnostic criteria for autism in 2013, it greatly broadened the spectrum to include a wide range of abilities from people who cannot dress themselves to brilliant scientists. Today, a staggering 1 out of 59 children in the United States has been diagnosed with this still largely misunderstood disorder.
We are pleased to welcome Temple Grandin – one of the most well-known and highly respected advocates and experts in the field – who defied early expectations to become one of the most well-known faces of autism. Although she didn’t speak until she was nearly four years old, Temple has gone on to become one of the world’s most respected authorities in the field of autism in addition to her roles as a bestselling author, professor and a leading expert in animal welfare and livestock handling equipment. In fact, her design for a human livestock restraint system is now used on nearly half the cattle in the U.S.
In this informative session, Temple shared the nine strengths-based mindsets necessary to help people on the autism spectrum as detailed in her most recent book, Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum – written in collaboration with psychologist Debra Moore. As the number of children diagnosed with autism continues to rise nationally, she also talked about how to apply these practices to develop the full potential of each child while driving home the message that it is possible for people with “differently-abled brains” to thrive.