Temple Grandin, a prominent author and speaker with autism, has
been featured by TIME magazine as one of 100 people who most affect our
world. She has appeared on "60 Minutes" and was the subject of an award-
winning HBO movie.
Now she is coming to Davenport in April - Autism Awareness Month -
- to share her insights about autism, a challenging communication disorder
that impacts thousands of individuals, their families, teachers, classmates
and others in the Quad-City region.
Temple will speak April 19 at The RiverCenter in Davenport from
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. She'll describe the challenges she has faced and provide
practical ideas on how others living with autism can meet these obstacles
and improve the quality of their lives. A free will offering will be accepted.
Temple's talk is part of the Anti-Stigma Speaker Series that the Vera
French Foundation developed in 2008 to bring to the Quad-City community
nationally recognized personalities who address mental health issues. The
goal of the Anti-Stigma series is to educate and inform people and shine a
light of understanding on those dealing with mental health issues.
An estimated 4,000 people in the Quad-City region have autism, says
Tom Crane, president of the Autism Society of the Quad Cities and parent of
an adult son with autism.
No one is more articulate in explaining some of the mysteries of
autism than Temple, who at age two was unable to speak and showed signs
of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching
enabled her to learn speech. She endured constant teasing as a teenager
because of unusual behavior, but her high school science teacher and an
aunt who lived on a ranch motivated the young woman to pursue a career as
a scientist and livestock equipment designer.
Awarded a Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois
in 1989, Temple serves as a professor at Colorado State University. She
conducts research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility
design. Her book, "Animals in Translation" was a New York Times bestseller.
Other popular books she has authored include "Thinking in Pictures,
Emergence Labeled Autistic," "Animals Make us Human," and "The Way I See
It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's."
Temple has received numerous awards for her work and is a past
member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She
lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with
autism. Articles and interviews about Temple have appeared in the New York
Times, People, TIME, "National Public Radio," "20/20," "The View" and the
Sponsors of Temple's presentation are Genesis Health System, Scott
County Regional Authority, Autism Society of the Quad Cities, Quad-City
Times, Cumulus Quad Cities, Radish, Vera French Foundation Speakers
Committee, and the Putnam Museum, which will show a free screening of
HBO's "Temple Grandin" April 12 at 7 p.m. For a complete schedule of
Autism Awareness Month activities, visit www.verafrenchmhc.org.