Fewer video games and more interaction and work experience are needed by kids with autism advised by well-known professor Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, a renowned writer, and professor from Colorado State University has pushed the idea that teenagers with autism should be seeking employment or work experience as soon as possible. Grandin has been urging parents to relax the cotton wool approach to children on the autism spectrum and let them live their lives. Less time spent at home in front of smartphones, consoles, and computers, and more time out in the world getting used to life after school.

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Temple herself is on the autism spectrum and advises that work experience and working early on could help prepare teens for facing life after high school and college. Temple said if she could give teens on the autism spectrum and parents of teens with autism one piece of advice it would be: Get a job as soon as you can.

I want to get the transition to work before [these kids] graduate from high school, especially for these fully verbal kids, said Temple Grandin, and I don’t want them to talk about it and I don’t want them to think about it. It’s non-negotiable. A lot of parents are getting way too over-protective.By sheltering children on the autism spectrum from the reality of interacting with society and working, you could be setting them up for a very sudden culture shock later.

During her presentation, Grandin spent part of the evening being interviewed by a seventh-grader from Fort Collins, Trust Decatur who is also on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder covers a broad range of conditions and the severity of the conditions. Work experience, volunteering, social activities, sports, and employment are all experience which can’t be gained sitting in front of a television locked away from the world.

We’ve got to get these kids these skills, Grandin said. We don’t chuck them off the deep end of the pool, but they’ve got to learn that discipline at work. Work skills aren’t the same as academic skills and what you learn at work is a whole lot more important.

When one member of the audience asked Grandin if she had any concerns that such frankness could hurt kids feelings, she responded that she did not.They should tell him what he should do,” Grandin said.