Magazine

Temple Grandin

CSUN welcomed world-renowned autism expert and professor Temple Grandin on Feb. 6, as part of Education on the Edge, a series of lectures and workshops on modern-day education and accommodating all types of thinkers, presented by the Michael D. Eisner College of Education Center for Teaching and Learning. The lecture was open to the community and quickly sold out. A well-known figure within the autistic community, Grandin was diagnosed with autism when she was 4, and doctors recommended she be institutionalized. Her parents refused to follow the advice and helped Grandin develop her speaking ability. As one of the first people to talk about their own experiences with autism, Grandin developed a number of innovations to help others with autism — such as the “hug box,” a deep-pressure device designed to calm hypersensitive people. She was also the subject of the Emmy Award-winning HBO biopic Temple Grandin, which detailed how she used her perspective with autism to rise to prominence in the field of animal science. The lecture focused primarily on the different types of thinkers that the world produces today, and society’s tendency to practice “label-locked learning” — where students are sorted by what they cannot do, instead of building on their strengths. “Different kinds of minds can complement each other,” Grandin said. “For example, Steve Jobs, the artist, made the interface on the iPhone. The mathematical engineers had to make the inside of that phone work. It’s different kinds of minds working together.”