Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Temple Grandin

I was intrigued to find this website today, about Temple Grandin. I have heard her name a couple of times in the last few months, both at functions for TJEd. Today I had some time to check out what she is all about. She is a remarkable person! She was born with autism and was diagnosed at the age of 4 years old. She says that she had all the classic symptoms of "full-blown autism", and many people recommended that she be institutionalized. Her mother refused. (This reminded me of myself.) :0) Today, Temple Grandin is an accomplished college professor of Animal Science and is the designer of half of the United States' livestock handling equipment. She is truly brilliant and amazing. She has written many books, including an autobiography and speaks at various functions for animals and autism. She gives me hope for our daughter, who doesn't technically have an autism diagnosis yet. (We have been told that she fits the criteria for autism.) It is difficult to look at our daughter and see past her difficulties and challenges, enough to dream of a future as successful as Temple Grandin's has been. I am always afraid to hope too much. However, we continue to be amazed at how far Ladybug has come. She is a joy to our lives and she has a very special spirit. It is exciting to see what her future holds. It is exciting to know that through leadership education, Ladybug has the opportunity to pursue whatever her interests and passions are, and that she can develop skills and abilities of her choosing. When we ask our children what they want to be when they grow up, we can't bear to teach her to say that she wants to be a wife or a mother, so for now, we've taught her to say that she'd like to be "a helper." I think she will be successful at whatever she chooses to do in this world...because Mr. Man and I are here to support her through it. She is a remarkable kiddo'!

Today, she was very loving! She kept walking up to me and saying "I love you, Mom!", and then hugging me. I think she must have seen one of the other kiddo's doing this, and copied them. She does that more and more lately...the copying. She has a hard time reading people's facial expressions and body language. She copies the looks on people's faces, but doesn't understand what's behind them. She loves to swing outside, or sit under the kitchen table or spin on her bottom, round and round on the tile floor. She loves to spin in circles and get dizzy! She likes to talk about colors and is just starting to become interested in counting. Today, we counted cereal pieces. We had 10 Cheerio's and she counted up to 5, by herself. I helped her count the rest, up to 10. Then we started to count them all again, and she told me "No", when I didn't start with the very same piece of cereal, I had titled as "One", the first time we counted. Such a querky girl! I cherish those moments when she hugs me and talks. Her cute, out of the blue comment today was "I a ballerina--I a girl! Ballerina's are girls--not boys! Where my "kirt" (skirt), mom?" How I love my children! How I love my sweet, querky Ladybug!

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