For anyone who may be unfamiliar with Temple Grandin, visit our Temple Grandin page and/or visit her Website: http://www.templegrandin.com and/or her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drtemplegrandin/
Helpful Hint: Aspies need to change their point of perspective (get out of themselves) in order to understand their impact on non-autistic people. i.e: An Aspie should witness two other Aspies having an exchange in a social gathering of non-autistic people to see how s/he affect others.
So, let’s diablogue:
Ken: On February 22 we attended a presentation featuring Temple Grandin in Calgary. What is your assessment?
Christina: It was amazing. Remarkable. I had no idea what to expect. So cool how you two clicked.
Ken: Affirmative. I found it to be indicative of my actions to you as well as others. It was similar to a mirror being held up to me. For the first time, I was able to step outside of myself and see how I affect and cause effects upon my social world. Quite enlightening and liberating.
Christina: You got out-Aspied by an Aspie! Before we met her we both had thought that YOU wouldn’t be able to stop talking with her, you know… run on like you tend to do…
Ken: (interrupting and interjecting) Correct. I do not want to admit it; however, your statement concerning me is accurate.
Christina: (laughing) …so what was that like, for her to lock eye contact with you and get so excited and go on and on about you being an electrician and how high schools need to teach the trades again so Aspie kids can get more skilled work…all that? She didn’t let you get a word in edgewise. It was SHE who wouldn’t stop talking, not you.
Ken: Believe it or not it was thrilling, as now I have irrefutable data of what I am like. I have often been asked, “So what’s it like to be autistic”? To which I always counter, “I do not know as I have never been anything else. I would have to be able to step outside of myself–to observe myself in action– in order to accurately address your query.” Well, with Temple, I was able to observe myself by proxy. I have been made aware of how I barrage, overload and overwhelm you–as well as do other socially intense acts– you and what it is like for you.
Christina: Wow. Fascinating. Well, I found your two chats with her slightly embarrassing…actually, I liked it too…I mean, I was the wife of the lucky person Temple picked out to seriously engage with–of all the 1800 people there. But I was also a bit embarrassed because there were lineups and I had to tell the other people, “Uh, sorry…he’s also autistic … I guess they’re connecting!” And shrug. But overall it was kind of fun.
Ken: Query, what do you mean by “embarrassing”? For whom?
Christina: Embarrassing for me because I couldn’t stop you from taking up more than your fair share of Temple’s limited time. That’s the way those folks in line would have seen it–that you were hogging her time. It’s a social thing. A faux pas.
Ken: I was not embarrassed for myself, for you, for Temple Grandin or for the people in attendance. Aspies do not get embarrassed. Embarrassment is an emotion, and Aspies tend to be unemotional. We find emotions to be a distraction from the topic at hand. And what better than a live demonstration …
Christina: (interrupting and interjecting) … Live demonstration?
Ken: (focussed, and oblivious, carries right on) … and also, an important piece of data is to realize that everyone in attendance at this presentation, including but not limited to the participants, volunteers, sponsors, presenter and the attendees, were there because they have all been touched by autism in some manner. All had a vested interest, so I am sure my and Temple’s behaviour would not be foreign to them.
Ken: I wish that when and if we ever do public speaking that we would have another autistic person on the dias so that people would get a live demonstration.
Christina: Good idea. Take some heat off me!
Ken: I believe that with a live demonstration, Aspies would see how their autism, their autistic children, siblings, friends, colleagues and/or their employer may react in certain situations in the future: intense and extremely focussed in socially inappropriate ways when their attention is captured.
Christina: True. Anyway, for me the whole evening–from meeting her before her talk, chatting with others, and her talk itself–were magical in some ways. She was so smart, witty, enthusiastic, caring–just really charming. She made me appreciate you more.
Ken: I thank you for that. Would you be in agreement with creating a two-part post to discuss the helpful hints, lessons, and information from her actual presentation?
Christina: Great idea.
Ken: So it is written so shall it be.
Next post: Diablogue #6 – “What We Discovered From Temple Grandin”