Temple Grandin Speaks on Autism and Employment
Temple Grandin spoke at 3M's forum on "Autism and Employment." She explained that autistic people like herself need support, but can be valuable employees:
The advice, delivered tactlessly, stung. Nevertheless, in terms of improving relations with her co-workers, she soon became grateful for the lesson.
Grandin said that because the autistic learn differently, it may be important for parents to do the thing many of them least want to do: loosen the reins a bit and allow kids to amass their own archive of experiences to learn from, whether it's ordering by themselves from a restaurant menu or holding down a neighborhood job mowing lawns.
Other sucessfully employed people with autism took part in the forum:
Larry Moody, a board member with the Autism Society, said in an interview that he was successful enough as a chemical engineer to survive waves of staff cuts at various jobs and retire at age 50 with a sizable nest egg.
"I required more management than others, but I produced at a higher level, faster and more accurately," he said.