MATTOON — Bestselling author and animal scientist Temple Grandin spoke to a packed theater in the Lake Land College Luther Student Center on Sept. 28.

A Lake Land College press release reported that her presentation, entitled “Different Kinds of Minds,” addressed her professional career in animal science as an industrial equipment designer.

In addition, Grandin discussed how her own autism inspired work related to alleviating human and animal stress.

“I get worried a lot these days,” said Grandin. “I’m worried about how we all seem to focus on peoples’ deficits rather than focusing on those things that people with autism can do. I always focus on myself being an animal scientist first and then autism later.”

During the presentation, Grandin discussed animal behavior, specifically some of her findings and research while working in the cattle industry.

Additionally, Grandin encouraged parents, educators and peers to understand that there is value in different ways of thinking.

“Different kinds of minds must work together because they complement each other,” Grandin explained. “That’s how we get things done.”

Grandin also left time for questions and a book signing in the theater at the Lake Land College Student Center.

Eleven-year-old Haiden Wickline of Mattoon said he came to the event because he was inspired by Grandin to help students his age who have autism.

Wickline assists with the Dragonflies Program, a performing arts program for children with special needs, headed by Mattoon resident Julia Boyd.

Specifically, Wickline helps Boyd’s son Jacob in the Dragonflies performing arts program.

“I think it’s important to be kind and friendly to everyone,” Wickline said. “Everyone needs a friend, and that’s why I help with Dragonflies.”

“Different Kinds of Minds” was sponsored by the Lake Land College Office of Community and Professional Programs.

To learn more about the Office of Community and Professional Programs, visit: www.lakeland.cc.il.us/learn.

To learn more about author and animal scientist Temple Grandin, visit: http://templegrandin.com.

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