Temple Grandin Named to National Women's Hall of Fame

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Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the greatest autism advocates of our time, has been named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Grandin, a six-time author with a Ph.D. in animal studies, was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old and is one of 10 women to be inducted this year. Previous hall of fame inductees include Oprah, Sally Ride, Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Honoring Dr. Temple Grandin in this esteemed group of women not only speaks to the power of her research and advocacy, but also her impact as a role model for young women everywhere,” said Tony Frank, president of Colorado State University, where Grandin teaches. “Early in her career, her determination helped her break into what was a largely male-dominated animal production industry, and she continues to serve as an advocate for women in the sciences, for young people with autism, and for anyone unwilling to let artificial boundaries stand in the way of their personal and professional success.”

Prior to this honor, Grandin was named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Autism and Dating

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As an adult with autism, I do everything a bit differently than most, so it should come as no surprise that I have a partner who is different than most.

He is kind, intelligent and compassionate. It sounds cliché, but before he and I began dating, some of his good friends were autistic! He is knowledgeable about autism, and what he can’t relate to, he tries to understand.

I believe the key to autism and dating is understanding and open communication. Dating can be complex and difficult, and when you add autism to the mix, it can bring a new set of unique challenges. Often, those of us on the spectrum have difficulties carrying out social norms in romantic relationships. It can be difficult for us to sit through a long meal and “appropriately” converse with our partner’s family members for various reasons. Many on the spectrum also have different needs when it comes to sensory input, touch specifically. Sometimes we might crave more touch than average; other times, even though we care deeply for our partner, we may not want to be touched by them. It’s not necessarily anything personal having to do with the other person; it’s just different sensory needs/perception.

Most autistic individuals prefer to have a schedule or a plan for upcoming activities. They may become upset if that schedule or plan is altered in some way, especially without a timely warning. Adapting to or working around another person’s routine can be challenging.

Every relationship has its difficulties, and every one is unique to the involved individuals. In my experience, autism has a way of altering these difficulties. It is always important to have open communication! Both people need to be able to honestly speak their minds about a given situation or activity. When dating someone with autism, it is important to know how that person’s autism affects them. In doing that, it’s advisable to create a plan for working through and or preventing meltdowns. To someone who’s not used to it, helping an autistic person through a meltdown might be stressful and upsetting. No one wants to see their loved one hurting. That’s why it’s important to openly discuss what is helpful and what’s not for a particular individual.

Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. We have the same feelings and urges as anyone else. We just tend to express them differently. The right partner is understanding of that. The right person will be accepting of an autism diagnosis, and both people will seek to grow together. Each person should support the other, even if it looks different than “normal.”

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This Bakery Makes Tail Wagging Treats While Supporting Those With Intellectual Disabilities

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Maggie & Friends Bakery hires adults with intellectual disabilities to make dog treats.

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Blue Man Group Promises More Sensory-Friendly Shows for Kids With Autism

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Blue Man Group releases a list of sensory-friendly shows for children with autism.

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These Roses Make a Perfect Gift and Give Back to the Autism Community

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Roses For Autism hires adults on the autism spectrum and teaches valuable skills to help their future.

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Chris Bonnello Asks 150 Kids With Autism What They Love Most About Life for New Book

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Chris Bonnello, a former teacher who has autism, asked 150 kids and teens from the “Autistic Not Weird” community what they love most about life.

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