Autism pioneer, author and professor stays for breakfast Tuesday and conducts a halter-breaking session with UMN Crookston animal science students

    The sold-out gymnasium was silent as people listened intently to Dr. Temple Grandin, who graced the stage at University of Minnesota Crookston Monday evening. Temple touched on many different topics from engineering, education, animal science and handling, and, of course, her own diagnosis with Autism.

    She used humorous honesty to connect with the crowd and, judging by the amount of people who wanted to participate in the Q&A session at the end, Temple made quite the impression. Temple even mentioned that her great-grandfather had a wheat farm in Grandin, North Dakota and implied the town is named after her great-grandfather.

    “When I was a little kid I had no speech until age four; I got into really good early therapy,” Grandin told the crowd when discussing Autism spectrum disorder, which, according to the Autism Society, is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.

    “The Autism spectrum goes from somebody who could never learn to dress themselves to somebody like Steve Jobs or Einstein,” she added. “It’s a very, very big spectrum.”

    “There’s people with Autism all through history, lots of other labels” Grandin continued. “The thing that worries me is some people think what’s the cure for Autism, if you cured it then you’re gonna get rid of Einstein.”

    During the Q&A session towards the end of her presentation, Temple answered questions about animal handling and training plus her own methods, Autism, and FFA, to which she received many rounds of applause and a standing ovation afterwards.

    Dr. Grandin also signed autographs for eager fans both before and after her presentation in the UMC Sports Center hallway as representatives offered book sales for Temple’s best sellers like “Thinking in Pictures”, “Animals in Translation”, “The Autistic Brain” and her most recent book “Calling All Minds.”

    Fans from all over Minnesota, North Dakota, and even Canada traveled to Crookston for the free presentation.