Said Temple Grandin to the Wall Street Journal, which is, presumably, responsible for misspelling Asperger.
I mean, really, Aspberger? What is it? Cleopatra's last meal?
Ah! I am distracted by a worm! We all have our mental quirks and orientations, and the point is: The world benefits from the diversity of human minds. I'm inclined to tap out endless assorted bloggings to the web, and Temple Grandin's precursor chips away at stone and invents the spear.
Grandin opposes the "handicapped mentality" some people take toward kids with Aspergers:
"When I see these kids with 150 IQ and their parents want to put them on Social Security [disability], it drives me nuts." These kids "will come up to the book table and start talking about 'my Aspergers.' Why don't you talk about becoming a chemist, or a computer programmer, or a botanist?"So Aspergers is not just an aptitude for designing technical things. It also opened a different path into morality.
She continues: "It's important to get these autistic kids out and exposed to stuff. You've got to fill up the database." Silicon Valley and the tech companies are like "heaven on earth for the geeks and the nerds. And I want to see more and more of these smart kids going into the tech industry and inventing things—that's what makes America great."
Ms. Grandin lives in a simple apartment in Fort Collins, Colo., and has used the profits from her books to put students through school. "Four PhDs I've already done, I'm working on my fifth right now. I have graduate students at Colorado State—some of them I let in the back door, like me: older, nontraditional students. And I've gotten them good jobs."
"You know what working at the slaughterhouses does to you? It makes you look at your own mortality."
"When I was younger I was looking for this magic meaning of life. It's very simple now," she says. Making the lives of others better, doing "something of lasting value, that's the meaning of life, it's that simple."