Temple Grandin and Early Intervention--An Essay

      Dr. Temple Grandin, an expert in animal husbandry who is autistic, is a popular author on autism and has recommended early intervention exclusively. This does not help older adults with autism who have very few services, if any, available. 

    The answer is not early intervention exclusively but intervention throughout the lifespan. This is inclusive of children, teenagers, college-aged, adults, and older adults. Older adults include elderly autistics. Intervention throughout the lifespan is inclusive, while Dr. Grandin's early intervention position is exclusive by excluding populations of autistic people.

  There are very few counselors experienced enough for autistic people. There are no counselors in some areas, such as vocational counseling (personal communication, No date).

    Dr. Grandin was contacted about her early intervention position. She did respond with the following email: Dr. Temple Grandin sent a response to an email. The email is as follows: "Dear John - There is a need for intervention through the life span. In my talks, I emphasize early intervention because some young kids get no intervention. You may like my book Different Not Less. Eighteen individuals with autism who were diagnosed later in life write about their experiences."

    Some young children indeed get no intervention. These young children grow up among older adults with no intervention services available after being diagnosed.

       What do older autistics need? 

  • Counselors that not simply diagnose but are also trained to provide therapy and continue that therapy throughout the lifespan
  • Vocational counselors are needed as few understand autism (Personal Communication, No date)
  • Diversity programs that include awareness and inclusion of adult autistics people in employment and volunteering
  • Shift to intervention across the lifespan focus on the mental health profession.
    Temple Grandin must shift to intervention across the lifespan focus, starting with early intervention and ending with the intervention of older autistics. No life-stages of autistics are to be ignored. 


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