Meeting Dr. Grandin

Temple Grandin is coming to our community to speak about Autism.  Tonight.  We’re bringing G to see her speak.  I’m wildly excited and very anxious to make this a wonderful experience for G.  You see, when we decided to explain autism to G, we made a decision to emphasize the positive aspects wherever possible.  To that end, one of the books we used to introduce and explain the concept of autism was Different Like Me:  My Book of Autism Heroes.  It discusses successful historical figures who if they were born today may have been diagnosed with autism, and talks about how their focus on their particular special interest was a source of professional success.

One page in the book is devoted to Temple Grandin so G is really looking forward to seeing her.  My concern is having the evening backfire on us.  I don’t see my active 7 year old sitting quietly for a speaker like this.  It’s also rather late in the evening for G.  The talk begins at 5:30 followed by a book signing where we hope to get her to sign her page in our book for G.  G’s current routine is dinner at 5:00, bathtime at 6:30, reading time at 7:00 and bedtime at 8:00.  Sometimes he can be flexible for a special event – but then other times he absolutely cannot.  And I’ve never been able to predict his reaction.

My hopes are way too high.  In a perfect scenario, Dr. Grandin would deliver an inspirational talk targeted directly to my son that would reinforce the message of autism we’ve crafted at home.  They’d meet after the discussion, have a wonderful moment and G would find an autistic adult he could look up to for the rest of his life.  No problem, right?

Realizing how irrational my hopes are, DH and I have a plan we’ve calmly gone over with G, stuffing all our excitement and worry deep so G won’t pick up on it.  We’re going to bring G home from school, have an early dinner and head back to the auditorium.  We’ll put coats on seats at the end of a row near the door so we can easily leave and come back as G needs breaks.  While we wait for the talk to begin, we’ll have G outside running off as much energy as possible.  We’ll have his ipad and nintendo DS at the ready with headphones so he can still hear his games.  We’ll have a bag of snacks, drink boxes and gum.  Worst case, DH and I are mentally prepared to leave whenever G is ready to go.  We may drive two cars so one of us can stay to have the book signed for G, so he isn’t disappointed in a week when he realizes what he missed by leaving.

The next two days are going to be huge.  There is the lecture tonight, a parent/teacher discussion group with Dr Grandin tomorrow morning and G’s IEP meeting in the afternoon where we discuss his transition to the intermediate school.  Wish us luck!!

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Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 11:28 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like you have good plans in place. I have seen Temple and she is great. Turn it over to your higher power. You will each get what you need from this. We are all humans not perfect- just human.
    Good luck!

  2. Thank you for sharing this blog post and yes, Dr Temple Grandin is not just a role models for girls in science but also she shows that people with autism can be as capable as everyone else. There is another renowned individual to watch out and she happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome but she is talented: She is Ladyhawke (A New Zealand-born singer-songwriter)


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