“Our Time With Temple”

Dialogue #5:

Left to Right, Ken Temple Grandin and Christina
Temple Grandin and us at Autism Calgary’s 25th Anniversary Event: An Evening with Dr. Temple Grandin February 22, 2017

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.

Christina: Ah.

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”

10 thoughts on ““Our Time With Temple”

    1. Hello Gary, Ken here. You are not the first to question my Spock speech. My internal speech has always been Spock-like, but I have found that in order to be accepted and fit in, I have had to change the way I speak. This is a very important subject that needs to be addressed, and I thank you for nudging me into doing this and for helping me stretch myself to explain it. We are going to address this topic in more detail in a future post. This blog can open up and reveal some of the traits many Aspies keep hidden. Don’t worry, Gary. When we meet again I won’t be in Spock-speech mode; I will be totally recognizable, and you can keep on watching Christina correct my grammar–and necessarily so.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Patricia! We hope that the second part of “Our Time with Temple” was as informative for you as it was for us.
      We are glad that you are enjoying our posts, and we always look forward to your comments because we gain from each one.


  1. I’m so glad you actually got to see, hear and, then even chat with (listen to, eh, Christina?), Temple Grandin. I have encountered the film on her life and her talks ever since we had cattle, as that was her big breakthrough area. Another resource I have run across that is really, really neat because it’s by two young Asperger fellows: http://www.aspergerexperts.com. They have created videos, etc. partly for family and parents of Aspergers, and also for fellow ones. They are so well organized and clear: just like they emphasize is the way Aspergers’ brains work. And, rather surprisingly, I am realizing my brain also acts this way! I don’t know if I was born with some of this and simply coped well, or whether the long term and major traumas that caused my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may have brought it out. But I definitely need to know the causes and reasons and have an insatiable curiosity to keep learning and then, pause!, tell others about things they may not really want to know! Being overwhelmed sensory-wise and then doing all we need to do to cope seems to be the common denominator, needing control to overcome the constant fight/flight reactions in the brain and body. Let me know if you find their stuff applicable to what I guess is a deeper level of Autism spectrum in you, Ken. And thanks for your courage in presenting your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, JoElla, for your lengthy and important comment. Indeed, with current statistics at about 1 in 80 people on the spectrum, it’s quite possible that you are on it or close to it. There are many unofficial adult surveys or screens for Asperger’s/Autism on the net. We will research the recent ones (since they appear, change, and drop off regularly) and recommend some on our blog shortly. These sites can be useful as an initial query for oneself or to casually explore whether or not a friend, family member, or professional acquaintance might in fact be undiagnosed but on the spectrum. They can also be fun! Of course a diagnosis or ‘label’ is not important for everyone or in every situation. However, we feel that the light that a diagnosis (thus label) can shed about a lifetime of challenges can be liberating; it can pave the way forward with real strategies and tools. Also, if you informally determine you might be on the spectrum, you can decide to take it further by talking to your doctor about a referral to an autism specialist for a formal diagnosis. For example, the Glenrose Hospital in Edmonton now offers a “Lifespan Clinic” adult diagnosis service for free upon referral–though the wait time can be several months. For info on this, go to: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/facility.aspx?id=7822&service=1069401. A person can also contact Autism Canada to find local associations across the country that offer reliable diagnostic services for both adults and children. Remember this: It’s normal for adults (and children) with Aspergers to get incorrectly or incompletely diagnosed by generalists or specialists not well grounded in autism and differential diagnosis (teasing apart various conditions). Keep going until you get a diagnosis that feels right. With Ken, it took three times. We’ll talk about his diagnosis process in a future diablogue. Best wishes with your journey of discovery! Oh, and regarding courage…we’re simply willing to be open because it might help others. Writing the diablogue is also helping us–though at times the topics can be hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi folks: The thing that MOST impresses me about this ‘webpage’ is the sincere and detailed examination of your own personal relationship, Great kudos to you two for doing this, it’s not so common in ANY couples, aspies or not! Good on ya ;

    from a totally unbiased far away relative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ron. We really appreciate your thoughtful remarks. Indeed we never seem to run out of things to discuss–a personal relationship is a rich and deep reservoir of material…if one dares to go there. I guess we do. We hope you continue to read, comment, and pose questions–and consider “Following” us too!


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