It isn't often that your avocation and vocation merge, when your passions for educating students, working with technology integration, and llamas all seamlessly come together. That convergence does not happen often, and my excitement is all because Porter Palmer posted about Dr. Temple Grandin on the DEN National Blog.
For Porter Palmer, Temple Grandin is her heroine.
I taught special education for my entire career in the classroom, so Temple Grandin is a sort of super hero for me. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Dr. Grandin, “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher.”My introduction to Temple Grandin came over a year ago when a group of people were attending a planning session at Carol Reigh's llama farm for the GALA 2010 to be held on November 11-14 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Grantville, PA. So why am I promoting the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association on an ostensibly educational technology blog. Simple. Dr. Temple Grandin is our keynote speaker, and her presentation is open to the public, so you are welcome to meet and greet her in person at our November event, after you have met her virtually at the EdTechConnect April 13 webinar, but more about that later.
What I know of Temple Grandin comes from the wonderful stories I have heard from my llama social network. Grandin is autistic, but she learned in childhood that she could manage and cope better by her association with animals, because she had an unusual ability to understand animals. Her studies, her life, and her writings have done much to shed new light on the still complicated issues of autism. And as she advocates for "all kinds of minds," she also promotes the more humane treatment of animals.
I have several vested interests in the work of Temple Grandin that make her for me, like Porter Palmer, a super hero. We share a love of ethical treatment of animals, and my youngest grandson is autistic. Today I purchased the following Grandin books on my Audible account, and I can promise you that before Discovery's EdTechConnect Webinar on April 13 at 7 PM EDT, I will have delved deeper into a world I am eager to understand.
- Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism
- Animals Make Us Human
- Animals In Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior.
If you are interested in pursuing more about Temple Grandin, if for you the professional and personal intersect with a growing curiosity, you might want to read the following short videos that introduce you to a new world of autism from a celebrated autistic adult who considers autism a gift, can think like a cow, and advocates early educational intervention. Please also check the links below for more opportunities to see Temple Grandin virtually or in-person.