Imagine a world with visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids. We would be more creative, innovative, and extraordinary! And actually, that’s the world we live in; we just don’t always encourage all these kinds of minds to expand to their full potential.
Temple Grandin knows just how important people with autism are to the diversity of our world. Without them, our ability to solve problems and spread some of the most extraordinary ideas known to mankind would be lost. We need to understand how their minds sometimes work differently than neurotypical minds and develop them so that they can be part of the cooperative process that makes our world a better place.
Grandin urges schools not to take out the hands-on classes like art and shop, because those are the classes where people with autism often excel, and they are skills that the world still needs. She says that people with autism tend to think about details more than about the big picture, but sometimes the details are the most important part. If you don’t take the details seriously when building a bridge, for example, it will fall down.
Check out Grandin’s TED talk below, which will open your mind to the way someone with autism might think and why it’s important to encourage them to do what they’re good at. Watch and be inspired!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?