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  • >> PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN.

  • [ APPLAUSE ]

  • >> WELL IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE TODAY.

  • ONCE I PRESS THIS BUTTON AND MY SLIDES COME ON.

  • IF THEY WORK, THAT'S GOOD.

  • ONE OF THE THINGS CAN'T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH

  • WITH THE YOUNG AUTISTIC CHILDREN IS EARLY

  • EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION.

  • THAT'S JUST ABSOLUTELY SUPER IMPORTANT.

  • I WAS 60 JUST THIS SUMMER AND BY THE TIME I WAS TWO

  • AND A HALF YEARS OLD, I WAS IN A VERY GOOD PROGRAM.

  • I'M-- MOTHER TOOK ME INTO A, YOU KNOW, THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

  • IN BOSTON AND A DOCTOR NAMED BRONSON CROTHERS REFERRED HER

  • TO A SPEECH-- TO SPEECH THERAPIST THAT WORKED

  • OUT OF THEIR HOME AND THEY WERE JUST THOSE A LITTLE EXPERIENCED

  • TEACHERS THAT KNEW HOW TO WORK WITH KIDS.

  • AND THEN MY MOTHER HIRED A NANNY WHO SPENT HOURS AND HOURS

  • AND HOURS DOING TURN TAKING GAMES WITH ME AND MY SISTER.

  • WE'VE GOT TO BE TEACHING THESE KIDS TURN TAKING.

  • SEE ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT BEING A CHILD

  • IN THE '50S IS IT TURNED--

  • EVERYTHING YOU DID WITH ANOTHER KID

  • THAT WAS FUN INVOLVED TURN TAKING.

  • TURN TAKING IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

  • WE GOT TO TEACH THAT REALLY, REALLY EARLY.

  • AS A TEACHER, I'M KIND OF GRABBING THE KID'S CHIN.

  • MY TEACHER DID THAT WITH ME.

  • SHE SAID, COME ON, JUST PAY ATTENTION.

  • SOME AUTISTIC KIDS YOU CAN KIND OF PULL THEM OUT OF IT

  • BUT THERE'S OTHERS WHERE IF YOU DO THIS, YOU'RE GOING

  • TO DRIVE THEM INTO SENSORY OVERLOAD.

  • AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST MOST NEGLECTED AREAS IS THE

  • SENSORY PROBLEMS.

  • WHEN A LOUD-- SCHOOL BELL WENT OFF, IT HURT MY EARS.

  • THIS IS A PICTURE OF A YOUNG MAN SENT TO ME IT'S ACTUALLY

  • FROM A BOOK CALLED LITTLE RAINMAN.

  • IT'S-- A YOUNG AUTISTIC BOY DREW THIS

  • AND SHOWING HOW LOUD SOUNDS HURT HIS EARS.

  • NOW THE THING IS, IS THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS ARE

  • VERY VARIABLE.

  • ONE KID MIGHT LIKE THE SOUND OF RUNNING WATER,

  • ANOTHER KID IS GOING TO--

  • WILL GET AWAY FROM THE SOUND OF RUNNING WATER.

  • NOW, HIGH-PITCHED INTERMITTENT SOUNDS,

  • THINGS LIKE SMOKE ALARMS, THOSE TEND TO BE THE WORST THINGS

  • BUT THESE ARE REALLY REAL PROBLEMS.

  • YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAVE A CHILD AND YOU TAKE THEM

  • IN AT A BIG SUPERMARKET OR A WALMART OR SOME PLACE LIKE THAT,

  • HE JUST HAS A MELTDOWN AND START SCREAMING,

  • THAT IS SENSORY OVERLOAD.

  • SO YOU KIND OF WANT TO FIGURE OUT, YOU KNOW,

  • IF YOUR CHILD GOT A LOT OF SENSORY PROBLEMS, WHAT HAPPENS

  • AT WALMART OR THE BIG SUPERMARKETS

  • OR THE SHOPPING MALL.

  • AND IF EVERY ONE OF THOSE TRIPS ARE SCREAMING FIT YOU'VE GOT

  • REALLY BIG SENSORY PROBLEMS

  • BECAUSE SOME KIDS CAN SEE THE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS FLICKER ON

  • AND OFF LIKE BEING IN A DISCOTHEQUE.

  • IT JUST DRIVES THEM CRAZY.

  • OR THEY GO DOWN THE DETERGENT AISLE AND THEY JUST WANT TO GAG

  • BECAUSE IT'S JUST TOO MUCH SMELLS.

  • TOO MUCH IS OVERWHELMING STIMULATION.

  • NOW THE THING IS, ONE OF THE THINGS THEY WANT

  • TO TEST ME BEFORE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT I WASN'T DEAF.

  • SO I GOT A HEARING TEST AND I WASN'T DEAF.

  • BUT THE PROBLEM IS AUDITORY THRESHOLD TELLS YOU NOTHING

  • ABOUT AUDITORY DETAIL.

  • AUDITORY DETAIL IS THE ABILITY TO HEAR HARD CONSONANT SOUNDS.

  • LIKE IF I SAID CAT OR WAS IT RAT OR BAT, YOU KNOW,

  • DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN CAT, RAT AND BAT,

  • AND MY SPEECH TEACHER WOULD ENUNCIATE THOSE SOUNDS.

  • SHE'LL HOLD UP A CUP AND SAY, CUP.

  • IN FACT, SHE USED A LOT OF KIND OF ABA TYPE OF THINGS.

  • AND THE THING THAT'S MOST IMPORTANT THAT I'M GOING

  • TO BE ADAMANT ABOUT IS THAT REAL LITTLE KIDS THE TWO,

  • THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLDS, THEY NEED 20 HOURS OF ONE-TO-ONE

  • WITH A REALLY GREAT TEACHER.

  • YOU KNOW, AND WHO THAT GOOD TEACHER IS?

  • THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

  • NOW, THIS IS WORK DONE BY AMI KLIN AND HE HAD WITH ASPERGERS

  • AND PEOPLE WITH, YOU KNOW,

  • HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM WATCH WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

  • WELL, I HAVE TO SAY THAT'S A BORING SOCIAL MOVIE

  • AND I WOULDN'T BE THAT INTERESTED IN.

  • I DON'T EVEN THINK I COULD KEEP THE HEADPHONES ON A PLANE,

  • YOU KNOW, FOR THIS ONE.

  • AND LOOK AT HOW MANY TIMES A NORMAL PERSON LOOKS AT THE EYES.

  • I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAD ALL THESE SECRET EYE SIGNALS

  • UNTIL I READ A BOOK ABOUT IT WHEN I WAS 50 YEARS OLD.

  • BUT THE OTHER THING IS MOST PEOPLE EXPLAIN THIS PICTURE JUST

  • FROM A SOCIAL STANDPOINT.

  • THERE'S ALSO A BIG PROBLEM WITH ATTENTION SHIFTING.

  • LOOK AT HOW MANY TIMES THE NORMAL PERSON LOOKS BACK

  • AND FORTH, HOW QUICKLY THEY CAN SHIFT ATTENTION BACK

  • AND FORTH COMPARED TO THE RED LINE

  • WHICH IS THE AUTISTIC PERSON.

  • AND THE AUTISTIC PERSON IS LOOKING AT THE MOUTH

  • BECAUSE YOU GOT TO REMEMBER,

  • THEY DO NOT HEAR AUDITORY DETAIL VERY WELL.

  • SOME OF THESE KIDS ARE LIKE A REALLY BAD CELLPHONE CONNECTION

  • AND WHEN THEY GET TIRED, IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE.

  • YOU KNOW, HOW YOU YELL ON THE PHONE, YOU'RE GOING, OH,

  • IT'S BREAKING UP, IT'S BREAKING UP.

  • THAT'S THE WAY SOME OF THESE KIDS' HEARING IS.

  • YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE-- AND IT'S GOING TO VARY AS TO HOW MUCH

  • OF THE SIGNAL GET THROUGH.

  • ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE THERE NEEDS TO BE A LOT

  • OF RESEARCH DONE IS IN THE SENSORY PROBLEMS.

  • I'M KIND OF REALLY [INAUDIBLE] SICK OF ALL THE THEORY

  • OF MIND RESEARCH BECAUSE THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS CAN BE

  • SO DEBILITATING.

  • HOW CAN YOU SOCIALIZE

  • IF YOU CAN'T EVEN STAND BEING IN A RESTAURANT.

  • YOU CAN STAND BEING AT A SORTING--

  • SPORTING EVENT OR OTHER PLACES,

  • A NOISY RESTAURANT, PLACES LIKE THAT.

  • NOW, SOME PEOPLE HAVE VISUAL PROBLEMS.

  • I DIDN'T HAVE THEM.

  • YOU KNOW, WHERE THE IMAGE WILL BREAK UP LIKE A MOSAIC.

  • DONNA WILLIAMS DESCRIBED THIS IN SOME OF HER BOOKS.

  • AND OFTENTIMES PEOPLE WILL HAVE THESE PROBLEMS--

  • THEY'LL HAVE PROBLEMS WITH DEPTH PERCEPTION.

  • OK. HOW CAN YOU TELL THE KID'S GOT VISUAL PROCESSING PROBLEMS?

  • OBVIOUSLY, IF HE'S GOT SOUND SENSITIVITY,

  • HE'S GOING TO COVER HIS EARS.

  • THEY DO A LOT OF FLICKING AROUND THE EYES.

  • THAT'S A TIP-OFF.

  • THEY'LL TEND TO TILT THEIR HEAD BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE BETTER

  • IF THEY LOOK OUT THE CORNER OF THEIR EYE.

  • OFTENTIMES, THEY HATE ESCALATORS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T TELL

  • WHEN TO GET ON AND OFF THE ESCALATOR.

  • FLUORESCENT LIGHTS CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM.

  • IN FACT, WHEN THEY LOOK AT THINGS, THEY MAY HAVE

  • TO MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR IN COLLEGE GETTING AWAY

  • FROM FLUORESCENT LIGHTS IS PROBABLY BIG NUMBER ONE.

  • PROBLEMS WITH CATCHING A BALL AND YOU GO IN

  • AND YOU DO EYE EXAMS AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE NORMAL.

  • THEIR PROBLEM IS INSIDE THE BRAIN.

  • DON'T GET HUNG UP ON DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES.

  • THESE DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES ARE NOT PRECISE.

  • THEY ARE LABELS, JUST LIKE PROFILING A HIJACKER.

  • IT'S ONLY SORT OF ACCURATE.

  • IT'S-- AND I'M SAYING THIS REALLY, REALLY SERIOUSLY.

  • IT'S NOT ACCURATE LIKE TUBERCULOSIS IS ACCURATE.

  • I MEAN WHAT OTHER KINDS OF SYNDROMES DO PEOPLE SIT

  • AROUND A HOTEL ROOM AND DECIDE HAVE DIAGNOSING.

  • I MEAN, THAT'S THE SAME WAY BUILDING CODES ARE FIGURED

  • OUT AND, YOU KNOW, ENGINEERS SIT AROUND HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOMS

  • AND DECIDE, YOU KNOW, HOW TO CHANGE BUILDING CODE.

  • THEY'VE NOT DONE THAT IN ANIMAL WELFARE CODES.

  • NOW THE THING IS IF THE PROFILE IS USED CORRECTLY,

  • THERE'S A HIGH CORRELATION WITH BRAIN SCAN DATA.

  • BUT I FIND ONCE YOU GET OUT OF THE WAY

  • FROM THE BIG MEDICAL CENTERS, PROFILES ARE NOT USED CORRECTLY.

  • OK. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASPERGER AND AUTISM?

  • WELL RIGHT NOW, UNTIL THEY CHANGE IT, REAL SIMPLE.

  • AUTISM HAS TO BE ONSET BEFORE AGE 3.

  • THERE'S OBVIOUS SPEECH DELAY ALONG

  • WITH THE OTHER AUTISTIC SYMPTOMS.

  • ASPERGER'S, THERE'S NO OBVIOUS SPEECH DELAY.

  • SO TO PUT IT VERY, VERY SIMPLY, WHEN THE KID'S 3,

  • NOBODY'S RUNNING OFF TO THE DOCTOR.

  • SO WHAT'S PDD?

  • IT'S EARLY ONSET BUT NOT QUITE ENOUGH SYMPTOMS

  • TO CALL IT AUTISM.

  • NOW, A LOT OF THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS I'VE BEEN

  • TALKING ABOUT.

  • DYSLEXICS CAN HAVE THEM.

  • ADHD CAN HAVE THEM.

  • LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF THE DIFFERENT LABELS CAN HAVE THEM.

  • AND I CAN TELL YOU, I CAN'T WAIT

  • UNTIL THEY CAN GET HIGH SPEED BRAIN SCANNING

  • AND THAT COULD BE USED TO DIAGNOSE THE BRAIN SYSTEMS

  • WHERE WE HAVE PROBLEMS.

  • NOW SOME KIDS REALLY GOOD TO READ SOME AUTISTIC KIDS,

  • NOT EVERYBODY THESE SENSORY THINGS ARE VERY, VERY VARIABLE.

  • I DIDN'T HAVE THESE VISUAL PROBLEMS.

  • THEY GO TO READ WHITE-- THE WHITE PAPER WITH BLACK PRINT

  • ON IT AND THE WRITING WILL KIND OF JIGGLE ON THE PAGE

  • BECAUSE THERE'S PROBLEMS WITH THE CIRCUITS OF PROCESS MOTION

  • IN THE BRAIN AND THEY'RE SEEING MOTION

  • WHEN THEY SHOULDN'T BE SEEING MOTION.

  • OK. HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE, SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • FOR VISUAL PROCESSING PROBLEMS, THINGS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF.

  • WHY DON'T YOU GET AN INCANDESCENT LAMP

  • OR AN OLD-FASHIONED ENERGY WASTER BULB,

  • PUT IT NEXT TO THE KID'S DESK.

  • THOSE TWIRLY KIND OF FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS,

  • SOME OF THOSE ARE TERRIBLE.

  • I NORMALLY DO NOT SEE FLICKER ON FLUORESCENT LIGHTS BUT I STAYED

  • AT A HOTEL WHERE I SAW FLICKER ON A LAMP THAT HAD THOSE KIND

  • OF BULBS AND I COULD NOT READ WITH IT.

  • BLOCK FLUORESCENT LIGHTS WITH A HAT, SIT OVER BY THE WINDOW.

  • NOW LAPTOP COMPUTER IS THE ONLY COMPUTER

  • THAT ABSOLUTELY DOESN'T FLICKER.

  • I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHERE A LAPTOP JUST SAVED THEM.

  • THE TVS FLICKER, THE TV TAGS FLICKER

  • AND THE BIG DESKTOP PANELS, A LOT OF THOSE FLICKER

  • BECAUSE THERE'S A FLUORESCENT LIGHT INSIDE IT.

  • ONLY SCREEN THAT DOESN'T FLICKER ARE REAL SKINNY ONE,

  • THEY'RE SO SKINNY LIKE ON A LAPTOP,

  • YOU CAN'T GET A FLUORESCENT LIGHT IN THERE.

  • TRY PUTTING A WORK ON GRAY, TAN,

  • OR PASTEL PAPER TO REDUCE CONTRAST.

  • SOME PEOPLE ARE REALLY HELPED WITH THE IRLEN COLORED LENSES

  • WHERE YOU TRY ON DIFFERENT COLORED GLASSES

  • UNTIL YOU FIND THE SHADE WHERE IT WORKS.

  • OK. I GET OUT IN THE LOW INCOME AREAS, I GO, OK, PEOPLE,

  • LET'S JUST GO DOWN TO WALMART AND WE'RE GOING TO TRY ON ALL

  • OF THE PALE COLORED SUNGLASSES.

  • AND THEN I TALKED TO ONE MOM AND HER KID COULDN'T TOLERATE--

  • HER 10-YEAR-OLD COULDN'T TOLERATE FIVE MINUTES

  • OF WALMART.

  • AND THEY TRIED ON SOME LITTLE PINK CHILDREN'S GLASSES

  • AND SHE CAN DO AN HOUR OF SHOPPING NOW

  • THAT SHE WAS NOT ABLE TO DO BEFORE.

  • BALANCING GAMES, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THE OT THINGS,

  • A LOT OF THINGS THE OTS DO WITH PRESSURE AND SWINGING

  • AND BALANCING LIKE SITTING ON A BALL.

  • SOMEONE'S HELP TO STABILIZE PROCESSING,

  • THEY MAKE THAT BAD CELLPHONE CONNECTION WORK BETTER.

  • IF I'VE TAKEN THAT PHONE OVER BY THE--

  • GET IT RIGHT UP AGAINST THE WINDOW,

  • MAYBE IT'LL WORK ON THIS BUILDING.

  • AND THEN SOME PEOPLE CAN BE HELPED WITH PRISM GLASSES

  • BUT THOSE HAVE TO BE DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL.

  • BUT THE OTHER THINGS ON HERE ARE JUST SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN TRY.

  • I HAD A DYSLEXIC STUDENT THAT WOULD HAVE FLUNKED OUT OF SCHOOL

  • WITHOUT IRLEN LENSES AND A LAPTOP COMPUTER.

  • NOW, THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS AUTISM IS VERY, VERY VARIABLE.

  • SO IF YOU'VE GOT 20 PEOPLE WITH AUTISM,

  • IRLEN LENSES MAY ONLY WORK ON TWO OF THEM

  • BUT THEY REALLY WORK ON THOSE TWO.

  • THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING FOR ME, I DON'T NEED THEM.

  • SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE BRAIN.

  • I GET REALLY FED UP WHEN PEOPLE SAY, WELL,

  • THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT, THAT'S A LOT OF RUBBISH.

  • ACTUALLY SCIENTISTS KNOW A WHOLE LOT ABOUT THE BRAIN.

  • IT'S A VERY STRONG GENETIC BASIS IN AUTISM.

  • THE EMOTION CIRCUITS ARE ABNORMAL

  • AND IMMATURELY DEVELOPED.

  • ONE OF THE BIG THINGS ABOUT THE AUTISTIC BRAIN IS THESE PROBLEMS

  • WITH THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS

  • BETWEEN DIFFERENT BRAIN DEPARTMENTS.

  • I LIKE TO VISUALIZE THE BRAIN

  • AS THIS GREAT BIG CORPORATE OFFICE TOWER.

  • AND UP AT THE TOP, YOU GOT THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

  • AND THEN YOU GOT THE, YOU KNOW, THE MATH DEPARTMENT

  • AND YOU