The Significance Early Intervention Has on a Child with Autism

Guests: Dr. Temple Grandin and Desiree Cole | Season 10, Ep. 424

“We need the skills of people on the spectrum.” – Dr. Temple Grandin

We are bringing you a very special episode this week as it marks the end of our series on Autism Acceptance Month. In today’s show, Dr. Michelle Robin welcomes Dr. Temple Grandin to share the significant impact that early intervention had on her future and how it elevated the quality of life that she lives today. She tells her remarkable journey on the spectrum – everything from not speaking until she was four years old to becoming one of the most recognized autistic advocates, professor, best-selling author, and the person who changed the cattle industry forever going forward with her visual thinking designs. Dr. Temple tells how her mother and a science teacher, Dr. Carlock, were highly influential in helping her reach her potential. She also explains why she’s an advocate today in bringing back those hands-on classes to encourage those inventor and curious mindsets – especially for kids on the spectrum. She tells a humbling story about how her journey to the Hollywood screen started out doing very small things in the autistic community, and how she met people along the way who continued to propel her teachings and bring visual thinking more forward into our world and help it gain acceptance.

About Today’s Guest and Co-Host:

Dr. Temple Grandin was one of the first autistic people to document the insights she gained from her personal experience of autism. She is one of the world’s most respected experts in the fields of autism and animal behavior and livestock handling. As a toddler, she had speech delays as well as other signs of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive training ultimately enabled Dr. Grandin to speak. Mentoring by a high school science teacher and exposure to her aunt’s ranch in Arizona motivated her to pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. She is a prolific speaker, internationally best-selling author, and Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. In 2020, she was honored as a Top Ten College Professor in America. In 2010, Times 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, named her in the “Heroes” category. She was also the subject of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning semi-biographical film called Temple Grandin.

Desiree Cole is the Content Director and Brand Manager at Small Changes Big Shifts. She creates, writes, and manages the voice and content for the brand. She has loved all things wellness since she was introduced to the lifestyle in college, where she learned to cook more plant-based food and care for the whole body in holistic ways. She began her journalism career in Chicago and New York City, where she worked in Manhattan as an editor for news agencies, magazines, and book publishing. She’s part of the Small Changes Big Shifts team because she believes words are powerful messengers to the spirit, heart, and mind. Desiree was born and raised in Kansas City and believes there’s no place like it. Her husband (Zach), son (Ollie), and two golden retrievers (Linus and Lucy) live in a loud and happy house with its eight paws and a very joyful little boy who loves them.


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