University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Author and activist Dr. Temple Grandin will visit Governors State University (GSU) Center for Performing Arts (CPA) on Monday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, is one of the first on the autism spectrum to publicly share her personal experiences of and insights on autism.
She also designs livestock handling facilities and is a consultant on animal behavior and animal welfare to the livestock industry. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, as well as Thinking in Pictures, Humane Livestock Handling, Improving Animal Welfare, and The Autistic Brain. Grandin credits autism with allowing her to connect with and understand animals.
“Autism helped me understand animals because I think in pictures. Since animals do not have language, their memories have to be sensory-based instead of word-based,” Grandin said in an interview with Stanford Medicine.
She has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and is the subject of an Emmy Award-winning film starring Claire Danes. Grandin maintains that autistic brains are a gift to the world.
“I feel very strongly that if you got rid of all of the autistic genetics you’re not going to have any scientists. There’d be no computer people. You’d lose a lot of artists and musicians. There’d be a horrible price to pay,’’ Grandin told a reporter in a 2006 NPR interview.
In the discussion, she explained her own specialized brain. “My mind works like Google for images. You put in a keyword; it brings up pictures. See language for me narrates the pictures in my mind. When I work on designing livestock equipment I can test run that equipment in my head like 3-D virtual reality,” Grandin said in the interview.
Dr. Grandin’s talk will serve as the highlight and closing event of GSU College of Health and Human Services 50th Anniversary Conference: Fostering Educational and Vocational Success for Young Adults with Disabilities.
The day-long conference welcomes educators, health professionals, students, and all other supporters of young adults with disabilities, and will provide education and networking on topics such as promoting self-regulation in the classroom, supporting high school transitions to college, facilitating success for students with autism, teaching students about self-care and risk management, and strengthening transitional programs for college-bound students.
There is a growing need for resources in the area of autism and other disabilities, many of which are undocumented, said Dr. Catherine Balthazar, Dean of the College and an experienced speech-language pathologist.
“It is vital that we support all students toward a future that includes college, employment, and independent living.”
Audience members are invited to a book signing with Grandin immediately following her talk.
To register or learn more about GSU College of Health and Human Services 50th Anniversary Conference: Fostering Educational and Vocational Success for Young Adults with Disabilities, click here or call 708.534.4086. The registration fee for the conference alone is $100; $125 for the conference and Temple Grandin’s lecture.
Tickets to see Dr. Grandin are $35 and can be purchased at CenterTickets.net, at the Box Office, or by phone at 708.235.2222. Discounts are available for students, children, seniors 65+, groups of 10+, and patrons purchasing three or more shows.
Box Office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and two hours prior to all performances.
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