Yesterday at the C2 Theatre hall in Bonnyville we listened to Dr. Temple Grandin present on journey with autism. Rednecks with a Cause worked very hard to bring in Dr. Grandin, who is world renowned. It was a great event, she is an excellent speaker and the day flew by!

From the Bonnyville Nuvelle:

Rednecks with a Cause hosting prominent autism adovcate Temple Grandin

“We work with an organization called The Learning Network, and this was always a wish list item for Rednecks with a Cause to bring Temple Grandin to the area,” said Gary Mostert, president of Rednecks with a Cause.

Grandin is a prominent speaker and advocate for people on the autism spectrum. Not developing her speech until she was three and a half years old, Grandin was diagnosed with autism herself in 1950. At a time when it was considered impossible for kids with autism to lead a productive life, she defied the stigmas, becoming a noted author on the subject.

“Worldwide, she’s one of the biggest advocates for children on the spectrum. She also helps the public to understand children on the spectrum and gives “normal people” the skills and tools to deal with a culture where these kids live with us and make life as normal as possible for them,” said Mostert.

Drawing on her other passions and talents, Grandin also made a successful career designing livestock-handling equipment. She had designed the facilities that half of the cattle in the United States are handled in, and consults for major firms including Burger King and McDonald’s.

Her success has been chronicled through numerous features in national publications, including Time magazine, and major television and radio specials. Currently, Grandin works as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

For children on the spectrum and their parents, Mostert expressed seeing the achievements of someone with autism can be encouraging.

“She’s definitely a role model of what the possibilities for these kids are…. Temple Grandin has developed amazing corral systems for livestock farmers. She’s not necessarily the most social person in the world, but she has learned the skills to interact with big crowds.”

He added, “I think that encourages parents that have children on the spectrum to know that there are opportunities for their children. There are ways to get by the hurdles that the spectrum throws at families.”