Author Temple Grandin visits the Autism History Museum at the Meridian Mall

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MERIDIAN TWP. – It’s not every day that a well-known author, who has a statue on a college campus and had a movie made about it, visits Meridian Mall.

But on Friday, Temple Grandin, 74, a Colorado State University professor who is the subject of the 2010 TV biopic “Temple Grandin” and has autism, toured the mall and history museum in Autism by Xavier DeGroat.

As she looked around the museum, admiring the sensory activity area inspired by “Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood” and a timeline of the history of autism, she said one of the most important things was the photos of celebrities with autism on the wall, people like Anthony Hopkins. , Greta Thunberg and Elon Musk.

It shows that people with autism can do great things.

“I want to see kids who are different come out and be successful,” she said.

Xavier DeGroat, left, watches Mary Temple Grandin, scientist, author and animal behaviorist, tour her Autism Museum at Meridian Mall on Friday, July 8, 2022.

Grandin was visiting the mall as a speaker for a museum dinner/gala. The event included a trampoline park launch sensory moment, a book signing and a VIP meet and greet.

While Grandin is in the Lansing area, she has also planned to speak about animal welfare at a sold-out event at Potter Park Zoo on Saturday.

Grandin has authored dozens of scientific articles on animal behavior and welfare, and authored books such as “Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism” and “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum.”

She is a longtime professor of animal science and is the first woman to have a sculpture of her likeness on the Colorado State campus.

DeGroat, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a child and who opened the museum earlier this year to raise autism awareness, said it was “amazing” that Grandin visited the museum.

Mary Temple Grandin signs books at the Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation Museum at Meridian Mall on Friday, July 8, 2022.

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“I want you to know that your presence here today will help our foundation grow tremendously and help make an impact in our community,” DeGroat told Grandin during the visit.

Grandin said a modern problem is that when a child is diagnosed with autism, parents get locked into the label and think the child won’t do anything.

But this is not true. Kids just need early intervention, exposure and learning what they like, what they don’t like and what they can do to be successful, he said. she declared.

She referenced Stephen Hawking, who said people should focus on things their disability doesn’t prevent them from doing well.

“There’s too much emphasis on the deficit and not enough on what the person can do,” she said.

Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.

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