Contributed by Adam Buckley and Carl Deleon, posAbilities Employment Service

On August 17, Autism BC proudly presented an evening with Temple Grandin, internationally acclaimed public speaker and author, who delivered a talk on ‘Developing Individuals who have Different Minds.’ Grandin was one of the first people to publicly share her insights into autism from an insider’s perspective and is known for her expertise in livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare. She is currently a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Before she spoke to the hundreds of individuals that attended the event at the PNE Agrodome, a fortunate few got to spend a luncheon with Dr. Grandin hosted by Autism BC, including Adam Buckley. The luncheon was held at the Pacific Autism Family Network in Richmond and the afternoon started with a tour of the centre. “The Hub” as its called, is a 60,000 square foot facility that has been specifically designed to create a calming, comforting and family-friendly

When Dr. Grandin arrived, the room illuminated with smiles from individuals that were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her. During the luncheon, Dr. Grandin took the opportunity to meet every guest and asked them about themselves and what they do via a roundtable discussion. Adam spoke about his employment journey and finding a role at Vancity Credit Union.

Dr. Grandin then proceeded to speak about her two passions: autism and agriculture. She motivated the room with her inspiring stories about overcoming her personal hurdles. She also discussed the benefits of being able to see things differently and thriving on being “unique”. Lastly, she challenged everyone to advocate and stand-up for themselves; and to become their own biggest fans and promoters.

Adam felt re-energized and motivated after spending a few hours with Dr. Grandin. He took comfort with knowing that the future is bright and that his creative potential can be released if he continues to break down the barriers. Adam truly appreciated the opportunity to meet Dr. Grandin and is thankful for the lasting messages of encouragement.