Learning About Temple Grandin Should Be a Requirement For OPWDDimwit Training.

This Saturday is Temple Grandin’s birthday. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue who she is.

Temple Grandin is an autism activist. She is best known for her contributions to the agriculture industry by inventing a safer and more humane way to slaughter cattle without them getting injured in the process. While her views of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) aren’t approved of nowadays, Grandin was still one of the first autism advocates to break through to the mainstream, having a movie made about her in 2010 titled Temple Grandin.

Grandin’s life story is important and should be required learning for social workers preparing to work with autistics. Why? Because she is living proof that with the right support and services, without strings attached, we can be anything. She has a doctorate in Animal Science and a career as a proponent for the rights of autistics and animals.

(I met her once during a book signing at LaGuardia Community College in New York. Very nice lady).

Yet when it comes to both Autism Awareness Month or Women’s History Month, she is forgotten.

When Mamma Duke and I get on the phone with the OPWDDimwits and joint advocate, they act like we’re speaking a foreign language. “Who?” they ask when we bring up Grandin’s name. I am appalled that the training for both state-run and private social service organizations don’t acknowledge or even know who Grandin is. Right now, the people who are supposed to help and serve us, treat us like garbage. Maybe if they learned about Grandin, they would show us more respect and compassion.

For once, that would be nice…


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