Dr. Temple Grandin: “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” | Talks at Google


FEMALE SPEAKER: Please
welcome Dr. Temple Grandin. [APPLAUSE] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: It’s
really great to be here today. I’m gonna talk about a
lot of different things. I was one of those kids that was
kind of different growing up, bullied and teased in school. And the thing that saved
me was my science teacher. I had a great
science teacher that got me interested in doing all
kinds of interesting projects. Which brings it down to
you want to get kids doing interesting stuff,
you’re going to have to show them interesting stuff. There’s a scene in the HBO movie
where I got really interested in optical illusion rooms. Well, and I actually saw
that optical illusion room on a Bell Labs 16
millimeter movie– now I’m showing how long ago that
was– on optical illusions. So you know, gotta get them
out there and show them stuff. Now the thing is,
what I want to do is to get you thinking about
different kinds of minds that think differently. When I was in 20s,
30s, and early 40s, I thought that everybody thought
the same way that I think. Then I asked this
question, and this is where I learned how
thinking can be different. Access your memory
on a church steeple. How does that information
come into your mind? I was shocked to find
out that a lot of people get this vague,
generalized thing. I don’t have any vague
generalized thing. I only have specific ones. Now you might ask, why am I
talking about church steeples? Why don’t I ask house or car? Well, most people are so
familiar with their own home or their own car, that
they’re going to see that. But I wanted to ask you
something you don’t own, but they’re out there
and you have to see them and everybody knows
what they are. And you have to see
a whole lot of them. You just can’t even drive
around without seeing them. And that really
started giving me some real insight that different
people think differently. So then I divided
the world into people that think in words and
people that think in pictures. And then I started to–
well, wait a minute. There’s this other kind of
person that thinks in patterns. This is more the
mathematical kind of mind. Now when does something
become an abnormality? Well, you get a little
bit of the autism trait, you take out some social
stuff in the brain, and you get geek traits for
all kinds of fun tech stuff. I think a brain can either be
made more cognitive or more thinking, or a brain
can be made more social. Because after all, who
invented the first stone spear? It wasn’t the yack-yacks around
the campfire, that’s for sure. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: It
was some geek out there in the back of the cave
chipping away at a rock and figured out how to
get it fastened to a stick and make a stone spear. You see, you get a little
bit of that autism trait, you get some advantages. You get too much
of the trait, you get a very, very
severe handicap. ‘Cause one of the big problems
that you got with the autism spectrum is it’s so huge. At one end, you have got
lot of people, probably people like Tesla, who
invented the power plant. You got a lot of people
in Silicon Valley. There’s a lot of
them that are live. I don’t talk about live ones. I’m only gonna talk
about dead ones when I show their pictures. You know who all
the live ones are. You can look them up in
“Business Week” magazine, and it’s really, really obvious. But you get a
little bit of– you know, you get the
creative people. There tends to be
relatives of people that may have bipolar disorder. There’s more techies
in the autism careers. Now the thing is, an autism
diagnosis is not precise. And over the years they
kept changing the diagnosis. In the early ’90s, they
put in Asperger’s, where now just geeks and nerds with
no speech delay become autistic. Then in 2013 they took that out. So now you’ve got this great
big mucky autism diagnosis that goes from heads of Silicon
Valley companies down to people that remain nonverbal and
cannot dress themselves. So you’ve got this
huge spectrum. OK, maybe that’s heresy that
I put his picture up here. But I promised that I would
only talk about dead ones and stuff I could dig off of
publicly available things, like a very popular
book that’s out now. Now the thing I want to
get you to think about is what would happen
to little Albert today. Little Albert Einstein. He had no language until
he was three years old. Wasn’t very social,
liked to line up blocks. He’d probably be labeled
autistic spectrum today. And little Stevie. Oh, weird loner. This is right out of publicly
available information. A weird, weird
loner that brought snakes to his elementary
school and turned them loose. And then he was bullied and
bullied and bullied and teased, and what saved him
was getting out in the neighborhood
computer club. This brings up a
really important thing. Getting these teenagers
that are kind of different, now today they’re getting
addicted to video games. Sometimes getting
addicted to video games and get an autism
diagnosis and get paid Social Security
to play video games. You have people saying I’m
too much down on video games. Well, I was just down
at JPL yesterday. And if you want to
work at JPL all day and play video games at night, I
don’t have a problem with that. What I’m getting
concerned about is the kid that’s getting
addicted to video games and they’re not
getting a job at JPL. That concerns me
very, very much. And so he was bullied. And then when he went
to work for Atari, he was such a filthy slob they
made him come in at night. No, being a filthy
slob’s not OK. And there’s a scene in the
movie where they slam down a deodorant and they
said, “You stink. Use it.” That actually happened. This is where bosses
are gonna just have to give some instruction
on how to behave at work. And being an absolutely filthy,
dirty slob I don’t think is gonna be very
acceptable here either. It’s just too gross. Now I like to look at
personality differences sort of like a
music mixing board. It’s not black and white. If I get a diagnosis for
tuberculosis, that’s definite. I either got
tuberculosis or I don’t. Or I’ve either had
tuberculosis or I didn’t. So when I check the
Australian customs form, which I did two months
ago, I can check “I have never had tuberculosis.” That’s definite. When you see autism, that’s
a much more gray area. Geeks and nerds, when does
that turn into mild autism? No black or white dividing line. It’s a continuous trait. And if you got rid of
this trait completely, you won’t have
any new employees. It’s just that simple. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: Now I
am a total visual thinker. I think in
photo-realistic pictures. I don’t think in words. So when I think about
designing something, I can test run it and
see it in my head in 3D. Before 3D virtual
reality computer programs were invented, I could
sit in a conference room and they could try stuff. And I could say,
well yeah, if you do that, that’s not gonna work. And you might wonder
why is the chute curved? Well, as the cattle
come on around the bend, they think they’re going
back to where they came from. And that’s one the
reasons why that works. I always get asked all
the time questions like, do cows know they’re
going to get slaughtered? I had to answer that question
very early in my career. And I found they behaved exactly
the same way at a slaughter plant as they behaved going up
a chute for the veterinarian. It’s not stress free. But the amount of stress they
have in both of those places is approximately the same. In fact, I just updated that
literature for my class slides and it’s still the same. They tell us to do blood
samples in both places. Yeah, it can vary from very
little stress to higher stress, but it’s about the same in
the two different places. Well, when you’re a weird geek,
one of the things I’ve found is that the way that
I had to sell myself was by showing off my work. You sell your work
rather than yourself. So I put portfolios together. OK, I’d say the quality of this
projector’s about medium good. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN:
I’ve had ones where it’s shown up
better than this. Now the thing is when
I first started out, I’d go to the AG
engineering meeting and they thought I
was really weird. No one wanted to talk to me. And then I whipped out
a big foldout drawing. Then I started to get respect. That’s selling your work. And the thing I learned
about my portfolio, you want to make a portfolio
where someone looks at it and 30 seconds later it’s “wow!” Don’t put too much
junk in a portfolio. You just put enough stuff in
there so look at it really quickly, wow this person
really can do some stuff. Now I used to joke around
that I had huge internet access to my visual cortex. Well, turns out I’ve got a
pretty big circuit there. And that’s probably in the
top 10% or so of circuits going from the
frontal cortex all the way deep to the back
of the visual cortex where the graphics files are stored. Now Walter Schneider at the
University of Pittsburgh has a new scanning
technology, which I’m sure some Asperger people
had to develop the computer to enable this scanner to
track white matter fibers. So your brain’s got the
gray matter on the outside. And the inside of the
brain is all white matter, big long axons that go all
the way across the brain that form cable bundles. And this new
technology can actually dissect out the cable bundles. It can tell the difference
between a bridge that cross each other
or an intersection. And that took a lot
of computer power, and they can fit it inside a
box that Walter can pick up. And so I’m an
associative thinker, so start thinking
about that song. [SINGS] You can get
eight great tomatoes in that itty-bitty can. That’s an ancient old
ad for tomato sauce. So that came up. You can get lots of computing
in an itty-bitty box. That’s sort of
how my mind works. OK, now this is the cable
bundle for speak what you see. And it goes from the visual
cortex up to the language area. That’s the normal one. And that’s mine. And those branches, you can see
they’ve been truncated there on that rendering, they
actually go all over the brain. So I basically have
got a search engine– it’s a lot like Google
for images– where you type in keywords and
I get lots of pictures. And they are specific! The thing I find so fascinating
about search engines is they work just like
how my mind works. Well, who made search engines? Some people that are much
more linear in their thinking don’t like the way the
search engine works. I like the way it
works just fine! And one of the things I
gotta teach my students is, you gotta use all
the different key words. All right, let’s just
take cattle, for example. There’s bulls, cows, cattle,
bovines, calf, calves. You gotta use all
those different words. That’s really obvious to me. And I find if you use
all the different words, you find a lot of papers
you wouldn’t find otherwise. Now the price I paid
for this circuit is I have less bandwidth for
the speak what you see. So I had speech delay. Didn’t talk until age four. And I couldn’t get my words out. See, there’s always a price. This scanner was originally paid
for by the Defense Department to look at veterans’
head injuries. And if this had been
an injured circuit, it would look like dried
spaghetti and went [CRUNCH] and broke about half of them. I’ll tell you, the
football players doesn’t look very pretty. OK, now this is
another scan that was done at the
University of Utah and presented at the
Neuroscience Meeting. And the blue part is basically
full of cerebrospinal fluid. It’s full of water. And you can see, I’ve got
a big asymmetry there. I got visual thinking and my
math department got trashed. See, where I think innate
differences make the biggest difference is either in
real deficit in something or an extreme
ability in something. Yes, there’s brain plasticity. But that’s happening in the
gray matter out on the edges. Those big white fiber
bundles, I don’t think you grow those
big axons back. I mean, they’re that long. OK Malcolm Gladwell says
if you have enough practice and you have enough
access to services, anyone can learn anything. Well, back in ’68,
Bill Gates and I had access to this exact
same computer system. I wanted to learn how to program
it, it was just hopeless. Algebra, just hopeless. I wanted to become
an expert skier. I could never keep
them together. I could get to the good
intermediate stage. I mean, I could
ski recreationally. But get really good? There were other kids, one
winter they’d be experts. Well, I just couldn’t
do computer programming, no matter how hard I tried. I agree with Gladwell about
the practice, and of course, the access to the teaching. You know, you have
to develop abilities. This is probably one of
my most important slides. The different kinds
of minds slide. I am a photo-realistic
visual thinker. An object visualizer. Lot of people in programming
are a pattern visualizer, a spatial visualizer. See, in your brain you have
circuits for what is something? That’s me. And then you got circuits
for where is something? And people that are
super good at the where is something located
in space tend to not be so good at the
object visualization. And the pattern thinkers
are also often good at math. These kids often have
trouble with reading. I hear stories where OK, they’re
having handwriting problems and they won’t let
them type a laptop. That’s just stupid. Another thing that
I hear that’s really bad– political
correctness gone crazy– is you’ve got a fourth
grader bored doing baby math. And they make them do baby
math and they don’t give them the more advanced book. That’s just ridiculous. You can get into
a situation where a kid may be gifted in math
but need special ed in reading. Now I like to bust
out of the silos. Everybody tends to get
inside their own box. There’s a text box. There’s a farm and ranch box. There’s a gifted box. And there’s an
autism box or silos. And I like to pick out
my speaking engagements so I like to get a
little mixture of all these different things. Because I’m seeing something
that kind of disturbs me. I go to an autism meeting and
a geeky little 10 year-old walks up to me, a real
smart little 10 year-old, and he’s fixated on his autism. And sometimes they get kind
of a handicap mentality and they’re not
learning basic stuff, like saying please
and thank you. Learning just basic skills. Kind of get over protected. Then I go to a gifted meeting. The same little geeky
kid comes up to me, but he wants to tell me about
what he saw under the Brock Magiscope, which is a really
cool little children’s microscope. And then I go to
a place like this, all full of undiagnosed
little bit on the spectrum. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: Avoid
the labels like the plague, ’cause it might hold you back. Now where learning about autism
can really help some of you guys here is in
your relationships. You don’t need to go
out and get diagnosed, but just reading about
it, that can help you out. And then I go over to the farm
and ranch and the meat world, and I go to this big
huge meatpacking plant. And there’s this old
gray haired hippie and he runs the
maintenance shop. And he’s out there playing
with the giant LEGOs putting up a new cooler. Big huge concrete LEGOs, you
use a crane to put them up. And he’s pure spectrum, but
he had welding in high school. The worst things they’ve
done in the high schools is taken the hands-on classes. In fact, at JPL they make all
the metal parts of something like the Mars lander, they
make them there in shops. And they’re having
problems finding who’s going to replace the
machinists when they retire. Now a third kind of thinker
is the verbal facts thinker. They know everything about
whatever their favorite subject is and they’re a verbal thinker. Now so-called
normal people, they are mixtures of these
different kinds of thinking. But I’m finding, when you
get into autism programs, there’s an awful
lot of smart kids that ought to get headed down
a track towards Google or JPL, that the teachers
and the schools are having a hard
time shifting gears on how to deal with
the nonverbal kids and they got smart, geeky,
kids in that same class. It’s a really,
really big problem. Because I can think of
kids I went to school with when I was
in college that I know are on the spectrum today. But the problem that the
parents of little kids have and the schools have,
in order to get a service, you have to have a label. Now I don’t think it hurts
a kid when he’s three to put a label on him
to get speech therapy. But then you get the kid that’s
10 or 12 years old getting bullied in school,
and he gets a label because you get
bullied in school. And Steve Jobs was one
of the kids with– well, they had to take him
out of one school, put him in another
school in Cupertino. And fortunately, he had a
dad that had a machine shop. That was another thing
that was his salvation. He was doing hands-on things. Now I know that
Steve Jobs may not be the best thing to
be mentioning here. But I only can talk
about the dead ones where I have information
I’ve gotten off of publicly available things
like books and “Business Week” magazine, which
I’ve read carefully. Now in “The Autistic
Brain” book, I now show evidence that
these two kinds of visualizers actually do exist. Today the schools are
all about evidence based. Well, Marie Kozhevnikof’s work. Surfing the internet, three
o’clock in the morning, I, found her stuff about the
two kinds of visualizers. This PET brain scan
study show that these two kinds of visualizers exist. I was so happy
when I found this. Because I had just observed
these things just on my own. And when I did my TED talk, I
hadn’t found these references yet. And they weren’t
very easy to find. There’s kind of a bias
about innate ability. No, everyone’s not the same. Yes, there’s a
lot of plasticity. You got a lot of people
here in the middle. You can get them pretty
good at programming up to here or whatever,
but you probably won’t get them to here. They can move back and
forth in the middle. That gray matter’s got
a lot of plasticity. But then you’ve got these great
big huge white matter cables. Well, you’re kind of
born with those things. OK, there’s two ways
you can do the math. You can do it the
verbal way, or you can do it the more
visual spatial way. And there’s kids that can just
do the math in their head. And the school says
well, you can’t do that. They don’t get it that
he thinks differently. Well, I’m saying let
him do it in his head. But we will take some
precautions against cheating. So we’re going to put
him in a room stripped of everything electronic, and
if he can do it, then just absolutely fine. Now I just want to
show you something that’s definitely not my mind. That praying mantis is
made out of a single sheet of folded paper. No cutting, no tape. And what you see
in the background, that is the folding pattern. And people look at
that and go, wow. Well, there’s no
way I could start with a square piece of paper and
make it into a praying mantis. That’s not my mind. And here are some
great little origami stars that some kids gave me. Well, they need to be in
the advanced math class. Now my thing was art. And when I was in elementary
school, my ability in art was always encouraged. And I was encouraged to do
lots of different things. So I wasn’t just
drawing the same horse head over and over again. You gotta take the
things they’re fixated on and broaden it
out, ’cause you’ve got to learn how to do stuff
other people are going to want. I always like to show
my drawings off again. And here’s a beautiful
bridge that Jessy Park drew. She was more moderate. Well, her favorite thing used
to be electric blanket controls. Well, we had to get
her off of that. And while on the
subject of bridges, I think our governments
are going crazy when you’ve got a governor
and his aides are deliberately creating traffic
jams on a bridge! The one that looks
just like this. This is absolutely ridiculous! They’re getting totally
separated from reality. We have great things going
on with private industry docking with the space station. But instead we
have a stupid thing on the news this morning
about government officials messing up traffic on
purpose on a bridge, and some dumb thing about
I think sports players getting scared by
their own mascot. I mean, that was on
the news this morning when I was having breakfast. I think there’s more
important things to have on the news than that. And these people, as far
as causing a traffic jam on a bridge, that’s
the kind of mindset of about an eight year-old. It’s also something that
I would have learned when I was eight years old
that you don’t do stuff like that because it
inconveniences other people. You don’t do those
kind of things ’cause you wouldn’t like if
you were in that traffic jam. It’s just that simple. There’s some other
gorgeous artwork made by a person that was
at mid-level on their autism spectrum. All right, now
I’m gonna tell you math people why you need
to have us art minds. One of the things that really
worries me, with all the STEM emphasis– and we’re going
to have to have algebra now. How could I get through
college with algebra? Know how I got through college? Because thank goodness for
the educational fads of 1967. And in 1967, the required
math class was finite math. Probability, matrices,
and statistics. Bit more visual,
tons of tutoring. I managed to get through it. But the engineering mind
does need the art mind. ‘Cause I’ve learned there’s
certain things the engineering mind doesn’t see. Now what’s there? I don’t know if that came
from– I got a satellite image. I don’t know if it’s
Google’s or not. I did get that off the internet. I certainly wasn’t gonna
fly over it and get my own picture of the
Fukushima nuclear power plant. Not something you want
to get very, very near, that’s for sure. ‘Cause sometimes the most
obvious is the least obvious. So I was getting all these
newspapers, all this stuff, and reading about
it on a plane ’cause I find this stuff interesting. And when I found out
why this happened, I’m going how could you do this? I can’t design a nuclear
reactor, there’s no way. But if I had been drawing the
concrete work for the plant and doing my site
elevation drawings, there’s no way I would have
made a mistake they made. All I have to know
about a nuclear reactor is if the emergency pump fails
to work after you’ve scrammed it– see it doesn’t quite get
turned off all the way– it burns up and you’re in so
much trouble it’s not funny. That’s all I have
to know about it. Well OK, earthquake broke all
the power lines and everything. There’s no electric power
to run the main stuff, so they had to scram it. And what happened is
the emergency generators that ran the emergency
equipment were in a non-waterproof basement. How could you make a
mistake that basic? Now when I was young, I used
to think, well stupidity. No. I found the mathematical
mind doesn’t see it. I could see the water smashing
out the baby blue louvers. This plant was painted
baby blue, of all colors, with little clouds on
the top of the boxes, make it look
innocent and pretty. See those baby blue
louvers getting busted out. And two seconds later,
those big generators, all the electric
panels under water, and it’s not going to work. There’s no way I
would have done that. I mean, I would’ve been going
to every shipbuilding company that there was and say, I want
catalogs on all your waterproof doors. I want to try out all
your waterproof doors. I want to find waterproof doors
that are really easy to open, don’t have to have training
to open and close them, close really tight, obvious
when they’re closed. And it wouldn’t have happened. This is why you really need all
the different kinds of minds. Now I’ve been thinking about
a lot of other things too. You see, ’cause I can visualize
ways that it can break. Especially anything
mechanical sort of stuff. OK, Steve Jobs went to college. And he also did a calligraphy
class, which he didn’t pay for. But it really
influenced computing, and all the computers have
nice fonts as a result of that. And he was an artist. He developed the
interface for the phones. Oh, and I know there’s a
lot of bad blood going on with the lawsuits. I read all about that. Steve wanted to go
thermonuclear on Android. I know all about
that kind of stuff. But again, I can only
talk about the dead ones. So that’s the reason
why I have these slides. But one of the point
I’m trying to get across is he wasn’t an engineer. This is where you
need to have the art mind and the engineering minds
working together on projects. They have complementary skills. Well, there’s a big
debate right now that maybe humanities programs
are just useless in colleges. I was at a state about two years
ago that’ll remain nameless. But their governor
said they wanted to charge extra
tuition at the state university for
humanities classes. And so the “Chronicle
of Higher Education” David Barash said that the
connection between Steve Jobs and so-called useless humanities
programs, such as calligraphy, cannot be ignored. Now one thing about calligraphy
is it’s a hands-on class. You actually have to do it. And there is a need
for humanities. I thought this was
really interesting. You want evidence based? “Science,” the
premiere journal, that when students read
serious literary fiction, helps them with some
of their social skills, rather than just reading
the latest Steven King or something like that,
or Michael Chrichton. I have to say,
those are the kind of books I like when I’m
on a long airplane flight and it’s really boring. OK, some of the other work
I’ve done with livestock was to look at the things
that they’re scared of. They’re going up a chute
in a strange place, meat plant for example. They were afraid of a
lot of little things. Shadows, reflections,
chains hanging down, seeing people standing up ahead. Things that we
tend to not notice. And if you take those
distractions out, maybe change a light to get rid of a
reflection, add a light ’cause they don’t like
going to a dark hole, then they would move through
the chute more easily, especially when it was
in a strange place. Now how many people
here noticed this animal is locked onto that
sunbeam like radar? Raise your hand if
you noticed that. OK, we’re doing
pretty good here. JPL a little bit
better than here. Well see, that’s purely the
visual thinking sort of stuff. Well I know there’s some people
interested in animal issues, so I think I’ll
talk a little bit about some of the
things I’ve done. When I was young,
I used to think I could fix everything
with equipment. If I could just build
the right magic system, everything would be perfect. What I found is equipment’s
only half the equation. The other half is
management, and management wanting to do things right. Now I have a saying. Heat softens steel. And then people like me who
want to reform things can now shape it and bend it
into pretty grill work. And when McDonald’s,
back in 1997, decided that they were
going to do something about bad stuff going
on in slaughterhouses, that resulted in
a lot of change. And it was my job
to implement it. And I came up with a very
simple scoring system that was like traffic
rules for slaughter houses. And if you didn’t follow certain
rules and make certain numbers, you failed the McDonald’s audit. 95% of the cattle dead
on the first shot or you fail the audit. You’ve got to get them all
dead before you hang them up. Only three animals are
allowed to moo and bellow in the stunning area. Only 1% falling. And if you want a real
excellent score, only 5% can get hit with
the electric prod if you want excellent score. Simple, very simple. You see, these are
outcome measures. I’m not telling you
how to build the plant. They are very simple
outcome measures. And it worked because it was
very objective and very, very simple. When big customers say that
something’s got to be changed, then things are
going to be changed. Walmart has just come
out with a big statement they came out with two days
ago on putting video cameras in swine houses to make
sure people aren’t beating the pigs up with gate rods or
throwing up piglets or doing some other really
nasty thing like that. I’m sure you’ve all seen
that show “Undercover Boss.” I think that’s a great show. I saw those kind of bosses’
eyes opened up moments when I took some
of the executives from some of the large hamburger
restaurants on their first trip to farms and slaughterhouses. I remember the day– this
was back in 1999 or 1998, around that time– when
one of the executives saw a half-dead dairy cow
go into their product. Boy, that was a real
undercover boss moment. I’d like to do
another show called “Undercover Legislature.” [APPLAUSE] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN:
OK, let’s take people who do things
like deliberately cause traffic jams. And we’ve got a real, real
special trailer set up for them. It’s about 10 miles
from the local Walmart. And we’re going to
drop him off there. He’ll just have his license
in his wallet, that’s all. There’ll be a $50 debit card
on the counter, a Walmart pen, couple of beans on the shelf,
this much gas in the car. OK, you report to work
tomorrow at Walmart. You’re going to be
there for two months. And we’ve taken away your
medical insurance card. Let’s let them get a taste of
what some people are actually up against. Living in a total
rarefied world. [APPLAUSE] Now look at how the
horse and the zebra put an ear on each other. And then the other ear is on me. Watch, animals it’s
all about details. All about details. Well, there’s what the
entrance to a slaughter plant looks like. In fact, I saw your great
Google Earth thing there. Think I’ll go Google
Earth a few of my jobs. That’s always fun. And I show this
slide to my students and I’ll say, OK
now tell me what I can improve here,
what is bad here. Well, with one thing that’s
good is inside the tunnel, I got white translucent plastic. So they’re not going
into a dark hole. But the bad thing is–
and I’d say about half my students don’t
notice it– is you’ve got three people standing
right where they should not be standing. Then sometimes the most
obvious is the least obvious. Now there’s evidence that
in the normal human brain, language covers up
art and mathematics. Because there’s a type
of Alzheimer’s that when the language parts of
the brain get wrecked, art comes out for about
three or four years. And when van Gogh was
painting “Starry Night,” I don’t think he realized he
was putting mathematics on it. And there’s going to be
a new book coming out on a guy who got in a bar fight
and got bashed on the head. And now he’s a mathematician
studying physics. Sort of got his inner
mathematician turned loose. Yep, there’s a lot
of things that we don’t know about the brain. Now an important thing,
understanding someone who thinks the way I do,
is I’m a bottom up thinker. My approach to things,
it was my same approach on developing equipment
for livestock, was to go around and look at
all of the state of the art. You go download, you’d
get all the patents. Well, we couldn’t download
them when I was doing it. We had to write to the
Patent Office and get them. It was a real pain. But you’d get all
the patents, you’d get all the state of the art. Go around, visit
all these places and try to get the good ideas,
chuck out the bad ideas. In other words, it’s bottom up
thinking rather than top down. Well today what’s happening,
especially in those government stuff, too much top down. Very vague things. But concepts are formed
by specific examples. When I was a young
child, cats and dogs. OK, all the cat pictures
in this file, all the dog pictures in this file. Well, when I was very young,
I could sort cats from dogs by size. Until our next door
neighbor got a daschund. OK, now I can no longer use
size as a visual criterion for cat versus dog. So then I noticed they
all had the same nose shape if they were dogs. So that was a visual feature
that every dog has got. Everything’s learned
by specific example. So how do I learn what
being nice or being bad is? Well, my mother would
just correct me. Forgot to say please? Well, say please. That’s nice behavior. You wait politely in line
at the movie theater. That’s nice behavior. You want to teach something
like up or down, gotta use a lot of different examples. Because there’s some kids
with autism where if you say, put that in, just
goes in the garbage. They need to learn that could
be put that in the drawer, in the cupboard,
in something else. Not necessarily in
the garbage can. So up can walk up the
stairs, I lifted up a cup, the plane flew up in the air. Lot of different examples. My thinking is associative, just
like how a search engine works. So if I’m at the Chicago
airport– there quite often– OK, I’ll look at that. Now I can start looking through
Google for images of my head. A glass structure category,
start going through that. Or I could start off
in an airport category. There are no
generalized pictures. This was something
that was really a breakthrough in my thinking
when I did the church steeple as my question
rather than house or a car. Something that people weren’t
quite so familiar with. OK, glass structure. Biosphere in Arizona,
Crystal Palace, greenhouse at Colorado State. Now when I’m on
this subject, I now am seeing a building that’s
now under construction. Now I’m seeing other buildings
that were under construction and the contractors used up 25
of our super valuable parking spaces for their trailers. OK, so that’s how I got
from glass structures to contractor trailers. Real sore point with me. I wasn’t home when
they did that. I think I would have walked out
there like I owned the place and told them to
move their trailers. But once they got established,
then you’re just stuck with it. Did they ask permission to
put those trailers there? I’m sure they did not. OK, airport category. Now when you think about
really big amounts of money, let’s start thinking
about it in something the public can understand. This is worth $5 billion. And they’re building a new
light rail and a new Westin. I gotta get the price
for that ’cause that’s going to be quite a lot
more than $5 billion when that’s done. But if we start
thinking about some of these big amounts of money
in something real like airport units, then people can
really put it in perspective. So you got Denver Airport,
Dallas-Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Atlanta. And you’ve got the grungy
old terminal at LaGuardia. And it’d be fun to
explore that place. And when I asked an
astrophysicist about the church steeples, he saw a motion of
people singing and praying. I go, oh wow. Trippy. That is definitely not my mind. Now cattle will make a category. If they get used to being
handled by a man on a horse, they’ve learned that’s safe. The first time they see the
man on the ground, they panic. You see, it’s different. It’s a different picture. I’ve learned man on
the horse is safe. Man on the ground’s
new and scary. I can also learn that man
on the ground is safe. But that’s something
totally novel. You see, most people wouldn’t
think the man on the ground is something novel. Now I find when you’re trying
to categorize problems, a lot of people have
trouble categorizing where’s a problem coming from? OK, if I got something
wrong in a factory, is there’s something wrong
with the equipment or something wrong with how people are
operating that equipment? I find people often don’t
make that differentiation. If it’s equipment
problem, is it a glitch? Course with the meat plant–
and I’ve done a lot of work with them- stuck trolley. Or is it a fundamental
design problem? They don’t make that
differentiation. I’ve got a problem
with a kid in school. Does he have a
biological problem? Maybe his tummy hurts so much
that he can’t pay attention in school. Or does he just not
want to do the work? It’s just strictly behavior? Top down thinkers tend to
overgeneralize, especially when they’re not doing
practical things anymore. Well, I got this out of
one of the tech magazines about dog fooding. You know, you gotta use
the stuff that you make. Then you really find out
if it actually works. Policymakers need to
be directly experience the consequences
of their policies. And if you want to mess up
traffic and cause a traffic jam, then you need to be stuck
in the middle of the worst traffic jam. Well, there are
the guys up at JPL. It was very cool to
get to meet them. You know, kind of
unconventional. It’s OK to be eccentric. That’s OK. Some of the most creative people
are really, really eccentric and they’re doing
marvelous things. And in talking to
the public, we need to tell the public well,
what are some of the spin offs from maybe some
of the JPL stuff? Not stuff from the ’60s. That’s ancient history. Let’s look at inventions
in the last 10 or 15 years. How about the
active pixel sensor? That’s the heart of
the cell phone camera. How about coding
that’s involved that will help the phone to work
from one cell phone tower to another cell phone tower? How about a mass
spectrometer this big? Yeah, we have mass spectrometers
the size of a giant desk. Well, you can put
a sample in that and it’ll tell you
what chemical’s in it. Well that would have a lot
of really good useful uses. Well, I was more interested in
looking at pictures of things than pictures of people. But we need people
interested in things. ‘Cause the social
yakity-yaks aren’t going to solve some
of the energy problems and stuff like that. Let’s have some of the
kids that are different. I don’t care if
they’re labeled gifted, they’re labeled quirky,
weird, nerds, or mild autism. One thing you gotta do with
these kids when they’re young is you gotta stretch them just
outside their comfort zone. And the other thing is we need
to be learning job skills. That needs to start at age 12. We need to find paper
route substitutes. Things like walking
dogs for the neighbors, things like maybe setting
up chairs at the community center, something like that. One place where all my teachers
and everybody drew a line, I wasn’t allowed to become
a recluse in my room. That was absolutely not allowed. I had to get out and do things. Kids aren’t doing
free play, which teaches valuable social skills. You know, dogs need to do
this too when they’re young. Because if dogs don’t do
this when they’re young, then they fight other dogs
really viciously ’cause they never learned
how to get along. Taking out the hands-on
classes was the worst thing the schools ever did. They took out cooking, sewing,
woodworking, machine shop, welding. We have a shortage
of skilled trades. I mean, JPL needs people
to make the wheels and stuff for the Mars lander. Oh, there’s something
really cool and really geeky about the wheels of “Curiosity.” I’m gonna just let
you figure it out. And I don’t know if I’m
supposed to tell you or not. But it’s so geeky and anti-suit,
it’s just really, really cool. But they need to have
those machinists. It’s not going to
work without them. The other thing that’s bad about
taking out hands-on classes is we’re losing resourceful
problem solving. Even something as
simple with cooking. You’re missing an ingredient? Can you do it with
another ingredient? ‘Course in the ’50s,
girls were taught sewing. So I had a wonderful
toy sewing machine. I was in fourth grade. And I remember one project
where I cut the fabric wrong and I ruined it
as I got in rush. Some of the things you learn
from doing hands on things. This is the stuff that saved me. These were things that were
refuges away from teasing. Kids that did the teasing were
not interested in woodworking or interested in riding horses. I was also an Estes
model rocketer. A I loved model rockets. I was in the model rocket club. And I was horrified go
on the Estes website about a month ago, and you
can buy a ready-made rocket. That is disgusting! [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: The
whole point is to build them. And I made a few points
with the other kids when I made a rocket that
looked like our headmaster, a Mr. [INAUDIBLE]. And he was aerodynamically
stable and he flew. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: And I
didn’t do much studying, but I was in a special
boarding school for gifted kids with a
lot of emotional problems. And instead of studying,
I was remodeling our [INAUDIBLE] house. But the headmaster let
me do that because I was learning work skills. And a lot of these kids are
not learning work skills. I cleaned a lot of horse
stalls too when I was 15. Lots and lots of them. And I was responsible
for the horse barn and making sure I always
closed the feed box. Gotta always close the
grain box because a horse dies if eats out
of the grain box. You’ve got to close it. I think we need to limit
screen time with little kids. The thing that I’m
finding with electronics and with little kids
is yeah, little kids want to play with electronics. But we need to get
that teacher in there and get them taking turns. These kids have got to
learn how to take turns. Well, I think we need to
start making connections, physical connections
between the virtual world and the real world. And one really enterprising mom,
she went to the lumber yard, got some two by fours
cut up, and then she brought them all
home to the driveway and had the kids
paint them to make Minecraft blocks
in the driveway. In other words, linking the
online world to the real world. Then her little autistic kid
had lots of friends coming over to play with the
Minecraft blocks. Activities with animals. Get kids involved in activities
they can do with other kids. 4H, FFA, robotics clubs,
maker bot, 3D printing clubs. Get them involved
in these things. My ability in art was
always encouraged. We need to be working
on building up the area of strength. The kid’s good at math, let
him do more advanced classes. Use fixations to motivate. Great online sources. Now I was reading
that on Audacity or some of these things
like this, that only 4% of the people took
the entire class. I don’t consider that a failure. Because there’s an
awful lot of people that might want to just look
at some programming stuff and just take a couple of
lessons to learn something they needed for work. Because back when I was doing
hydraulic stuff all the time, I had all these
books for hydraulics. And I didn’t need
algebra, ’cause I had all these tables for
things like fluid flow. Look it up in the tables. And when I first started
out, I took the first book and I did read the
first book pretty well. But I didn’t read all the books. I used them as reference books. I think the thing they need to
look at is how many of those people that went on Udacity took
a few lessons as a reference and it helped them
in their work. I think that’s something
that needs to be looked at. But I show this to
a lot of parents that don’t realize there’s a
lot of free stuff out there. And we gotta do something
about rural internet access. It is beyond awful. You cannot play videos. And you go out in
the rural areas, you still got the mom
and pop DVD stores because they don’t
have movies otherwise. It’s just that simple. It is atrocious. Well, there’s the
optical illusion room. I got fixated on that. And the movie did a nice
job of showing me making it. And there’s one of my
designs in SketchUp. I know you don’t own it
anymore, but it’s great. I’ve seen some really
great things going on with teenage kids
doing SketchUp, and then they’re printing their
stuff out with 3D printers. Really, really cool stuff. And I really liked
this warning they had on the Maker Bot website. You need patience– that’s kind
of a fiddly little machine. You get mad at it,
you’re going to break it. Knowhow and a sense
of adventure required. I really liked that thing
they wrote on the website. Yeah, you don’t design it
right, your little thing is going to collapse in goo. You’re getting back
to the real world. The other thing on something
like this, people say well, they can’t afford that. OK, it’s $1,500, $2,000. Look at all the money’s
getting spent on sports. That’s the price of one major
league football uniform. It’s all it costs. Maybe two high school uniforms. It’s not very much money. I don’t want to hear that. Now that’s just a kind of
neat little thing I made. And this is some views
through the Brock Magiscope, a great little really adorable
little child’s microscopes. It’s $150. No fiddly mirror. Very easy for kids to use. You don’t have a
glass slide in it. And I was so happy to
go to gifted conference. It wasn’t the autism conference. I wish this had been at
the autism conference. It was at the gifted conference. We had a hotel room
about the size of this. And all these kids, they’d
put the electronics away and they were playing
with the Brock Magiscope. And they’re looking at
pond scum and leaves. And it was really cool. Just got to show people. And you guys know about this
stuff that’s on the internet. But I do a lot of talks
in a lot of places, and I just want to give
people ideas of cool things that are out there. There’s some evidence that kids
learning to write sometimes can help them on reading. On learning reading, maybe turn
off all the bells and whistles and use the plain ebook, maybe
just with still pictures. And you have them read to them. And they’re learning
a story better. And again, this is refereed. Scientific stuff. We’re going evidence based here. Well, people need to
touch to perceive. I had a really good
time over at Pixar. They found that
sometimes they gotta get them off the computers
and get them actually drawing. And when they print
their figurines out on their 3D printer, they put
them around the computer mouse so they could touch them. You gotta touch to see. Gotta do that. Science teacher. Boy, he helped me. Well, he was a NASA
space scientist. Was he a credited teacher? No. No stupid ed courses for him. We gotta get back to doing
real things in this country. That’s what we gotta do. [APPLAUSE] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: One
thing a lot of employers want today is students
who know how to work. This came up in a lot of things. I learned to sell
my work, not myself. Also in working with some of
the people that are different, you don’t take that
employee and go, well just develop some new software. You want to say OK, I want to
make an app for the Android phone and it does
this specific thing, it uses this
language, this memory. You don’t tell them
how do it, but it’s got certain parameters. Then OK, that’s easy to do. And when mistakes
are made, the boss needs to just pull them
aside in the office quietly, no yelling and screaming,
and say, well you know, we had the project
meeting last week and you called Jim a jerk
in front of the other five colleagues. That’s not the Google
way of doing things. Just don’t do that. And I learned you can
get some people that will sabotage a project
due to jealousy. That was very, very difficult
for me to deal with. And then you get other
people where they just think differently. You kind of differentiate
between the two. Well, if I in was in a plant,
on of my meat plant projects, and the plant engineer’s
sitting like this– I was hired by the
manager, he didn’t like this weird geek
coming on his turf. I would pull him into project. And that oftentimes
stopped that. OK, tour guide. Great job for 12 year-olds. You gotta demonstrate
the correct distance to get from the visitor. Demonstrate the
correct greeting. It’s just like coaching
somebody in a foreign country. And there’s sensory issues. Some people just can’t
stand a lot of noise, can’t stand 60 cycle
fluorescent lights. You got a lot of
sensory issues, and they can vary from being very
mild to being very severe. This needs to be
researched, and how to treat some of these problems. When I was a little kid,
loud sounds hurt my ears. I still absolutely hate the
vacuum toilets in airplanes. And if I’d had to deal
with those when I was five, I would have been sure I’d be
sucked out of the airplane. My visual thinking mind went
wild when I was six years old and they were
remodeling our house. They had this big circular
saw and I was afraid that maybe its
blade would come up through the floor of my room. Which was just ludicrous. But when you’re
maybe six years old, it wasn’t quite so ludicrous. I had trouble hearing
hard constant sounds. So my speech
teacher slowed down, enunciated the hard consonants. She’d say cup, and
then shed say cuh-puh. Slow down, enunciate it
so that I could hear it. Attention shifting. I have problems with this. Somebody rings a
cellphone off, I orient. Takes me much longer
to shift back. Attention shifting slowness. Some people when
they go to read, the print will
jiggle on the page. That’s probably
about 10% of students that are having some
trouble in college. Doesn’t explain all autism. It doesn’t explain all dyslexia. But there’s something wrong
with the circuits back here. Shape, color, emotion, texture. They’re not merging
together right. And sometimes they can be
fixed with a very simple thing. Like pale pink glasses,
pale lavender glasses, different print your work on
some different colored papers, maybe try different
background on colors on the computer screen,
different fonts. Now wouldn’t it be
stupid to lose a job or flunk out of school
’cause you didn’t do this? I’m finding one
out of 50 has got this problem in my
livestock handling class. Because they do really horrible
on my drawing assignment. They cannot draw. If I say draw this,
they’re drawing. That’s what they draw. They don’t see it. Well, there’s my head. Well, and that’s all the
white matter that’s inside. And the gray matter– this
is not lining up right. Something got changed here. There should be a little space
there for the gray matter. Something got out of
sync there on that. And that’s all the
circuits, the cable bundles that are the interoffice
communication. That’s where you
have differences in developmental problem. Well, my fear center
was bigger than normal. Well, that’s controlled now
with antidepressant medication. Little Prozac Us visual
thinkers, panic monsters. I know a lot of
visual thinkers where a little dab of Prozac in the
morning, or Lexapro or Zoloft, stops the anxiety. Then you’re not getting whacked
out on drugs and alcohol. Cerebellum’s smaller, so
I’ve got really bad balance. Simple accommodations
in the workplace. Some people have gotta
get away from the 60 cycle fluorescent lights. They need a quiet place to work. Open office plan and I gotta do
serious writing, doesn’t work. The other thing
that doesn’t work with people that are
on the autism spectrum is a sudden change
in work routine. They come into work
and they just go OK, we’re yanking out all
the office cubicles today and we’re going to move them. OK, if we’re going to do
that, let’s have some warning. Maybe a week at
least of warning. And I still can’t
tolerate scratchy clothes. Scratchy clothes just horrible. Like sandpaper. Some cotton itches, other
cotton doesn’t itch. Now the thing is it’s
OK for geeks to cry. When the space
shuttle got shut down, there were a lot of people
crying on “60 Minutes.” And I got thrown out
of a large girls school for throwing a book at
a girl who teased me. And when I went to
boarding school, I got in a fistfight
in the cafeteria after a guy called
name some name. And they took horseback
riding away for two weeks. I still had to clean the
barn, but no horseback riding. And somehow I
switched to crying. It’s OK for geeks to cry. That’s perfectly OK. And I would go and hide
in the electrical room, because the tech companies
don’t tolerate any violence. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN:
I have to say that it made me chuckle to
look in the clean room at JPL and here’s this big giant
Craftsman tool chest there. To think that bolts on the Mars
lander were tightened by a tool kept in a Craftsman tools chest. But you better not
throw that tool, otherwise it’s bye-bye job. It’s that simple. It takes a village
to raise a child. We gotta figure
out how we can all work together to
make things work. Because I’m seeing
too many smart kids going down the wrong road. I go to the gifted meeting,
he’s going down one road. I go to the autism
meeting, and you’ve got one situation
where a kid that ought to be headed for
Google is put in a class with kids that don’t talk. Then I go to another
school system and he’s headed in the right
direction really beautifully. It’s very, very, very variable. But these two silos don’t talk. Because if I look at the book
table for the gifted meeting and the autism
meeting, there might be a 5% overlap in the books. There should be more like
a 25% overlap in the books. They’re not talking
to each other. We gotta get people together. As I say, one geek goes to
Google in Silicon Valley, maybe JPL. There’s another geek that goes
to Hollywood and that stuff. And unfortunately,
there’s a brilliant geek that is going to the basement
to play video games for 10 hours a day and he gets
Social Security for it. That’s not where
I want him going. No. We’ve got to reach
out, get to these kids. And you know what? We gotta hook them
in middle school. Middle school is where
we gotta hook them. And some states now are
putting skilled trades back in. OK, I think that finishes
up what I have to say. But I’ve got time for questions. Always like to do
some questions. [APPLAUSE] AUDIENCE: I’m curious over
the course of your career, you’ve shared a lot
of the insights you had about the experience of
animals in slaughterhouses. I’m curious about
what kinds of things you learned over your career. Like where maybe
you can look back on some of your earlier
work and see oh, this is what I understand so
much more deeply now? DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well,
there’s a lot of things, I mean, for one
thing in the ’70s, my first professional group
was the American Society of Agricultural
Engineering I thought I could fix the world
with engineering. I absolutely believed
that everything could be fixed with engineering. I now realize only half of it
can be fixed with engineering. And I had a major
equipment failure, which was a real epiphany. I was hired by a company in
1980 to run the old slaughter plants. The pigs had to walk
up to the third floor in the real old plants. And they wanted me to
build a conveyor system to put in the floor of the chute
to take the pigs up this ramp. And I said, I’ll design that. Well, the problem is it flipped
all the pigs over backwards. And it did not work and
we had to tear it out. But then I started
realizing now why are some pigs not capable
of walking up this ramp? Well, I start getting
the ID numbers off of the different
pigs and I found out that all the pigs that a
problem came from one farm. And they had a genetic problem
called spraddle leg, where the hips are very, very weak. What I should have done, by
trying to make a conveyor, that was treating a
symptom of a problem. We should have gone
back to the source. For a fraction of the cost
of this mess that we had, we could have bought that
farm new boars– five or six new boars is all it
would have taken, just a few thousand
dollars– and gotten rid of that genetic problem. Would have solved it. One thing I learned
from that is you’ve got the treat problem
at its source, rather than treating a
symptom of a problem. Now I went into about a six
month depression over that. That was not fun. But I learned a really
important lesson from that. AUDIENCE: Thank you. FEMALE SPEAKER: So
we’re out of time now. So please everybody
join me in thanking Temple Grandin for
coming to Google. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

89 thoughts on “Dr. Temple Grandin: “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” | Talks at Google

  1. This lady is beyond amazing to me. I've followed her talks for years now and always come away feeling inspired.

    A remarkable mind Dr. Temple Grandin

    thanks @Talks at Google ♥

  2. Temple is one of the most significant figures in animal ethics and ethology. Get to know her work if you dont already.

  3. Temple is one of the most significant figures in animal ethics and ethology. Get to know her work if you dont already.

  4. Such a wonderful and inspiring character! Though, being undiagnosed and yet taking Zoloft and/or Prozac (as she, imo, so casually mentioned) will not or should not go hand in hand.

  5. Don't understand why she dresses that way. She's adjusted to interactions with non-autistic people, yet the dress style stands out. Not criticizing, just wondering.

  6. 24.02 this is probably the most important thing that Engineers and businesses need to know in providing safety. I totally agree with this. 

  7. I loved the movie. My son has aspbergers. I've always known there's been something different about myself. But I'm a chameleon I mimick well. I always had it drilled into me act normal or you loose your job..and always was different ..lol now ahead of my time all the strange stuff I did as a child now everyone does ..miss matched Sox and shoes. Now they have a diagnosis besides a wierdo. I'm finally brave enough to want to be tested and find out more. I was always told autistic people don't talk and I talk a lot but its on things that interest me..one of my bosses used to joke I can't add 2+2 but can run and keep a register balanced on thousands of dollars. And I can't tie my shoes but I can fix things easily that ingot known as jessee fix it..lol I had a circle of friends that said you ain't right but proud of it because I often say what others think but don't say out loud.. or make observations and minor details. I could put together a puzzle where all the pieces were the same because to me they are different. A friend gave me your movie and said hey jess you are like her . She's brave you can be too. Thank you.

  8. I am ashamed to say you are autistic. I have a son that is autistic and he would never hurt and animal like you do Temple. You should be speaking up for all non humans. If you cared for animals like you claim to you would tell people the truth and that is animals don't want to die just like humans don't want to die. You are a vile person.

  9. No words. Just free. Gratitude, despite the stigma. If only the fear and anger wasn't so prevalent, perhaps those who fall within the "touch of autism" area of the spectrum wouldn't be so afraid to come forward and speak about their ASD. Not even Steve Jobs. 🙁
    Social stigmas based in ignorant fear are the worst part of humanity.

  10. I admire you and really hope that my child finds a wisdom, strength and courage in his life, just like you have. Thank you for existing to show us that there is light and hope, at the end of that tunnel. 

  11. The video game players collecting SSI , so true. My son was one of the high functioning suck in a class where he just repeated the same work over an over . I hope and pray some ppl listen and understand what she is talking about, so we do throw away these unique brain thinking resources .

  12. Love it. " Treat a problem at its source rather than treating the symptom" Brilliant woman. A gift to humanity.

  13. I have Autism but I dont have alot of relatives in the technical field other then my Grandpa who a carpenter, so he and I are the only technical people in my family it funny how much technical stuff just makes sense to me where things of social interaction does not

  14. when i described what my doctor's office looked like for the first time to a family friend, I could only really describe the shape of the lines in the logo: a mother-figure holding her small child. This was drawn very smooth, in a minimalist style, like brushstrokes. It always made me think of the opening to Disney's Mulan. When I described the look of my counselor's office building, I could only tell my grandfather that it was a 10 minute drive from my house, and that it was a tall building that looked like it was made all of glass. I couldn't tell him the name of the building, because I just didn't notice that it had a name. I noticed what it looked like, and that the elevator, too, was glass. So it looked like you were going up a glass chute to the next floor. My mom always dared me to look outside the elevator and down at the floor below us.

  15. This is a new way to look at the autism spectrum, like a color wheel https://themighty.com/2016/05/rebecca-burgess-comic-redesigns-the-autism-spectrum/

  16. I know a 60yr/. old Ophthalmologist who has HF Autism…he's awesome!
    and I am in the "Artist Box"…….we are both wired differently 🙂

  17. So funny. I'm 32 years old and I get in to situations in professional settings where internally I sound just like what she's saying here.. "You just don't DO things like that, because you look like an 8 year old!" I think we've all felt that way about our coworkers at one point or another!

  18. there was a day when I asked myself the question "is it possible that others think another way than I do and could it be possible that I train my mind to think different?" – After a few sleepless nights I got into this topic… Now I know it isn't possible that another person thinks the same way I do so I currently think of how people can accurately express what they think exactly while not totally getting out of context for others.

  19. Only one question, it ended too soon, but I'd have to thank her for giving us another talk like this for free.

  20. diagnosed with Asperger's five years ago. since you much an Undercover Boss the company I work for was on season 1 episode 1 most of those issues have not been resolved I do see a bunch of other issues I do know that that company that I work for does not have very good anti-bullying policies. and they tend to ridicule those of us on the Spectrum think outside the box or people who think outside the box in general period maybe our new CEO might want to consider revisiting cuz fact of the matter is the trash industry is becoming more high-tech we are going with natural gas automated trucks we have computers to replace all of her paperwork and this is something I've been able to grasp a lot easy because I have the technological and the artist mind period even though I'm bully been many of my co-workers I do have the upper Edge or the learning curve that they do not have because they cannot understand this stuff as where it comes easy to me because of my outside the box thinking artistic mind

  21. I'm a comp sci major and have met maybe two autistic people in WKU's comp sci dept. Is there any reason WKU's comp sci dept has a comparable rate of autism to the general population but not Silicon Valley? We actually have a program made for autistic people that attracts people from all over the country, so it can't possibly be that WKU isn't an autism-friendly school.

  22. I have the same visual thinking process. It's fascinating as I think she understands my own brain better then I do. haha

  23. I find it funny that she hasn't changed her clothing style even after graduation. I guess that's what socially awkward people prefer to stay in their comfort-zone rather than coming out of it. I wish one day we can see Temple Grandin in high heels and mini skirt just like beautiful Claire Danes. 🙂 She's super good looking though. I would like to offer her my secret top notch anti-aging cream. :))

  24. If one day we see Temple Grandin in high heels and mini-skirt, I would most definitely consider her the so-called brain and the beauty though.

  25. I loved the movie. It gave me such an insight on how to raise my autistic daughter. She was diagnosed at age 4 with a score of 18 on the aspberger syndrome. Because of Dr. Grand in I didn't allow her to. Just rock back and forth in the corner just stemming all day. I make her help with little things. I try to keep her constructively busy

  26. I began to think "what is this even about" because she was sort of all over the place, then I realised I didn't really care about that cause everything she said was saying was really interesting

  27. I'm an African American man, and the movie and biography on her life blew me away, different but a brilliant mind, I'm a fan of Temple Griffin.

  28. Temple continues to be the most practical useful source of autism related information that I have found. This is a testament to her true expertise and understanding of the nature of autism.

  29. I'm good at maths, music and reading. I also very visual and can picture things functioning. I'm really good at fixing things. Really really good at it. I am very hands on. I definitely suffer in my social development. I'm naive af and struggle to understand social norms. I'm constantly offending people without meaning to and I'm always unaware of the impression I give people.

  30. towards the end where she said she went into depression for six months over a failed design of hers. this hit home hard. Its good to know I'm not the only one who takes my own failures to heart and to the depths that my failures eat at me. Bravo Dr. Grandin!

  31. My son is an asperger. I know I am probably and as an adult it will not be diagnosed. Temple is a hero to me.

  32. Great presentation!! It's a perfect blueprint for employee development regarding specified positions, work ethics, and thinking patterns in regards to suitable areas of employment per worker. Excellent informative video Dr. Grandin!!

  33. Work life is very tough for people like us. Especially when you are "shy" (quiet), and bad at selling yourself. And in my country, all the companies are the same – people are just people to them. The sickness of today's time, everyone is expected to be the same.

  34. Haha I finally decided to look her up since Dr. Peterson had mentioned her a couple times before, and I'm glad I did! What a character! It's seriously hard to believe she's 71, she acts incredibly lively and seems very youthful, I guess in the vid she's in her mid-60s, which is still quite surprising. I love how she talks about getting kids hooked on being productive and doing 'things' in school, to keep them from just going down into a basement and getting paid welfare to play videogames for 10 hours a day. I was basically someone just like that, for YEARS I poured untold thousands of hours into videogames. Hey, I enjoyed it, I found it fun… but ended up becoming terribly unsocialized. Very awkward, didn't really properly know how to act, not to mention I ended up an 18 year old blob.

    Thankfully in my early-mid 20s I got into a work-out kick when I first tried to join the Military, got into the best shape of my life doing LOTS of walking and push-ups, and more recently in my mid-late 20s I made a conscious effort to make myself not so socially useless. Now, approaching 30, granted I did gain some weight over the past few years however I'm not as big as I had bloated to from my mid-20s alcoholism and return to hardcore gaming. I'm now far more sociable, indeed people seem to genuinely enjoy having conversations with me generally, I'm most certainly FAR stronger than I was in my 20s, I've gotten more into my Christian faith (which is helping me deal with said alcoholism), and I'll be getting some advanced education come autumn for a profession that I could actually make money from. Protip: it's not gender studies lol

    Anyhow, to get back to Dr. Temple Grandin here, she's spot-on in regards to the threat posed (especially to guys since guys aren't as inherently interested in social interaction as chicks) by excessive gaming and excessive reclusiveness. It's NOT good, and I'm glad I managed to right myself while still young, because I'm certain there's some sad cases of men finding themselves in their 40s in terrible physical condition, socially awkward, virtually barren of any gathered resources, obviously without a relationship or children, and the likelihood of them REMAINING alone and without kids for the rest of their life is scarily high. I'm hopeful that, in my case, I'll be able to make something of myself and get on my own 2 feet with the rest of my 20s, or at least by the time my 30s are finished. I've got too many things on the go with too much determination for me to end up in my late-30s in the same situation as my late-20s, and already I'm a lot better off than I was in my late-teens so there's an upward trajectory at play. God bless, stay strong, do what's right, and have faith.

  35. Normal people dont imagine things like church spires, cars etc as they are in reality? Like paint a picture in the head?

  36. Temple Grandin is an inspiration to women and people with developmental disabilities.She is outstanding period.

  37. Temple's heart and mind are pure. "We gotta get back to doing real things in this country." She is very wise. There is a price to be paid for how we are educating our kids. Convenience is not always the wisest choice. Greed in corporate America purchasing items made in other countries has taken away the value of "Made In America." Temple is a genuine American. God bless her.

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