One of the main things you learn when you talk to Temple Grandin is that she lives to create solutions. Whether it’s finding a humane way to walk cattle through a slaughter house or it’s finding a way to engage a child’s individual imagination, she is excited to brainstorm and find a viable path. As soon as Temple Grandin found out that I was an Autism Mom, she wanted to know all about my son. What were his interests? What was I doing to feed his interests? One of the things Temple seems very sure about is that we shouldn’t allow children on the spectrum to just wither away by themselves playing useless games that don’t teach them anything useful. And let’s face it there are lots of those games out there.
Jack Riley is working a lot on social skills now that he is in school, and because Lainey is now big enough to walk over and play with his toys. His therapists are having Jack Riley play with his sister during their sessions so he can practice how to appropriately play with her. Simultaneously, Jack Riley’s therapists are also making it a point to go on outings in the community so he and his parents can get more comfortable with what to expect while they are out.
Interviewing Temple Grandin is a rare treat. Sitting and chatting with her after an interview is…life changing. I had that opportunity a few weeks ago. The interview portion of our time together went well. She is a consummate professional. She restates your question so the editing job is cleaner and easier, she knows where to clip the mic so her cowboy tie won’t rustle. She’s in the zone and ready when the cameras are on. So when the interview was over I really expected her to be all business and quickly depart. Not Temple. She graciously stayed for pictures and the autographing of plastic cows, during which I asked her if she was still teaching.
Recovery from autism is still a controversial topic and many in the autism field are still afraid to discuss it. We at CARD have seen recovery for decades and we make it happen for some of the children that we treat. We are not the only ones. Treatment providers all over the country who have been doing top-quality ABA treatment for children with autism, for a minimum of 30 hours per week, for two or more years, have been recovering children for years. Let me explain exactly what we at CARD mean when we say a child has recovered from autism. We mean that the child no longer displays clinically significant impairments related to autism. In other words, there is nothing left to treat, the child is doing just fine. But it’s not good enough to just take our word for it, so here is how we measure it.
I was a fan of Temple Grandin’s long before I was the parent of a child on the Autism spectrum. Once my son was diagnosed with Autism I became a fan of Temple’s mother, Eustacia Cutler. In an era where Autism awareness wasn’t even in its infancy and treatments were basically relegated to institutionalizing your child and walking away, Eustacia Cutler forged her own path.
It’s important that our kids are able to use their imagination, and what better way than playing with sock puppets! Here Suzanne teaches us how to make sock puppets with interchangeable faces to not only practice using imagination, but to help learn and identify emotions and expressions.
After a new therapist has completed 20 hours of elearning from CARD’s online training program and practiced what they have learned with a supervisor in the office, they then go out into the field and do overlaps with a senior therapist like Jessica. Today, Jack Riley and Jessica show Christine what it’s like to work with a child that has autism.
Card is happy to announce that on February 19th, that we will be teaming up with Lineagen to offer an open house presentation and discussion on the benefits of genetic testing with individuals on the spectrum.
When I found out I had been granted an interview with Temple Grandin I was as excited as a 10 year old girl going to her first Justin Beiber concert. There was only one problem. The terms of the interview stated that I had to interview her at her hotel and I had secured an interview location at the venue where she would be speaking later that night. It wasn’t going to work, and now I was back to square one. I was short on time and the hotel was been singularly unhelpful. So I arrived really early, before the crew, to secure a location at the hotel. The pay-off was that I found myself in the lobby of the hotel, sitting next to Temple Grandin, chatting like a couple of old friends.