World renowned author with autism speaks about developmental disability at LA Tech

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) A world-famous author speaks out about autism at Louisiana Tech.

Dr. Temple Grandin hopes her message can help others understand.

She even has autism herself.

"When I was a little kid, I was severely autistic," said Grandin.

Over time, Grandin learned to overcome her challenges.

"I got very good early education. I had wonderful teachers."

For many years, she's been outspoken on the developmental disability.

She has written nine books with four of them on autism.

People lined up in the Howard Auditorium to meet Grandin and even let her sign copies of her books.

"Having her come for our kickoff event has been incredible opportunity to shine a light on the field of children's health and the types of programs we're striving for," said Julie Rutledge from the Louisiana Tech ENRICH Program.

During her speech, Grandin compared some of history's greatest minds who likely dealt with autism.

"What would happen to somebody like Thomas Edison today? He was probably on the autism spectrum. He was described as a hyperactive high school dropout. How about Einstein? He didn't speak until age 3."

Her message relays that it varies depending on each person.

"The brain can be more thinking or social-emotional. You see some of that is just normal variation; then you can get into very severe autism where the person never really learns to dress themselves."

But she says it can be dealt with at an early stage.

"If you have young children who are not talking, you got to start working with them. You can't just let them sit out and vegetate on the TV. Get them talking. You got to teach them how to shake hands with people because when you have a few social circuits missing in their brain. You got to teach them like a foreign country. You got to teach them how to do it. How much pressure you apply, how much distance they need to stand apart."