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Movie Mom

Temple Grandin on Thinking in Pictures

posted by Nell Minow

Temple Grandin, the subject of the new movie starring Claire Danes, was diagnosed with autism as a child. In this talk at TED, she talks about how her mind works — sharing her ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ryszard Archon

    The human mind is something complex to understand. How the cognitive function of each individual works is something that needs to be studied in detail, in great depth and great length. I have observed that indeed, some individuals do function differently than others. If we analyze Albert Einstein for instance we see that he didn’t have a social life, and in his early age he was misunderstood by his teachers, and possibly by peers as well, thinking that he was clumsy at school. We as people belonging to a civil society are obligated to focus our attention to those individuals that do have gifts, such as those individuals that have autism, and encourage them to become functional individuals that can contribute to our community and our society. The story of Dr. Grandin made me analyze our human nature & condition, our human mind; that indeed, there is no boundary that cannot be reached and even crossed, no challenge that cannot be defeated if the individual is given the opportunity to develop their mind, their skills, for them to excel and go above and beyond. But, there has to be someone that inspires that individual with the gift to excel, to strive to become more, to give the incentive to learn more, to explore new possibilities, to go beyond and defy what has been established in order to discover things that will innovate science and technology for the improvement of mankind. What I mean is that parents, teachers, as well as the rest of the community need to start focusing on becoming participants in the process of facilitating various types of education to children that are autistic or have a gift. We need people that don’t give up on our children because we need to remember that our children are the future that will forge our community and our society. We need people with the passion, patience and dedication to inspire and touch gifted children.
    Children with autism or other special gifts should not be excluded from social groups. Individuals that have autism must be included, somehow, with the rest of the community. Only recently, our community, our society had come to realize that it was not capable of understanding gifted people. It has been a process of trial and error, and even nowadays people still don’t fully understand the great potential gifted people have within their minds. Personally, I do concur with Dr. Grandin, individuals with autism and other gifts must be included somehow into the community. Dr. Grandin mention and I quote, that “children with autism need to be taught manners, they need to be taught how to function within the spectrum of the real world, they need to be taught hands-on activities so they can develop both knowledge and skill, they need to be taught how to balance and develop their social skills with others.” As for the rest of the community, the rest of the community also needs to learn to be more humane, more civilized with people that are gifted, to try to understand individuals with autism. Overall the community needs to learn to listen, to pay attention to individuals that have this gift, and look for ways to facilitate how they develop their gift. The community needs to learn to try and visualize things the way people with autism or other gifts do visualize the world. We are reminded that each mind, each head, each brain is an entire universe; a mind is a universe that holds bits and pieces, fragments that hold the secrets of the larger universe in which we exist in.
    The story of Dr. Grandin, as well as the story of many other individuals, those that have or had this gift or other types of gifts, changed history forever, and are truly an inspiration to me. They are an inspiration because they taught me to never give up on goals, no matter the adversity that we face in life, they taught me that everything is possible if we fight for what we want, and all of them had taught me that truly, individuals can make a difference, an impact, a contribution to the lives of others. So yes, to hands-on activities for students, as well as for the visuals, and combine it with the analytical world. We need more people that see the universe in a different way, and maybe, someday, we will reach the stars.

    Cordially,
    J.R.Archon

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