Grandin speaks on value of neurodiversity

Dr. Temple Grandin speaking at the Gottwald Center at the Science Museum of Virginia.
Dr. Temple Grandin at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Dr. Temple Grandin, a nationally renowned author and speaker on autism and animal behavior, addressed a group of VCU faculty, staff and students recently at the Science Museum of Virginia on the value of neurodiversity in education.

Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences – such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (known as ADHD) – are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation would be.

Grandin’s discussion centered around her latest book, “Different … Not Less,” which follows the lives of adults diagnosed with these challenges, often later in life. In the book, she explains how each one of these adults met their challenges and became successfully employed.

Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, is one of the first people on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experiences on autism. Often ostracized in her early school years, she eventually found a mentor and developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of a very few in the world.

The event was co-sponsored by the VCU School of Education, the Office of Student Access and Educational Opportunity, the Science Museum of Virginia, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, and the Partnership for People with Disabilities.