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Letter: Reflections on Meeting with Temple Grandin

img_3057Joan Hill is a dairy farmer at Camphill Village and on the autism spectrum. After meeting with Dr. Temple Grandin at the Living with Autism event on Oct. 22nd, she sent this letter to the Marion Institute.

My meeting with Temple Grandin was a wonderful experience! I have actually met Dr. Grandin at a conference towards my high school graduation around 2010. My farm/science teacher, Jean Polovchik, had taken me to have her sign my copy of “Thinking in Pictures.” When my turn came, I was so star struck I couldn’t even talk. Dr. Grandin was the same way, so Jean had to prompt the words out of both of us.

This time, I was still feeling pretty shy around Dr. Grandin (she is a celebrity to those of us on the autism spectrum, after all!), so I let my friends Rose Aring and Susan Williams do most of the talking. I did, however, tell Dr. Grandin about my life here in Camphill Village, and about my work on the farm. My favorite parts about this meeting were getting my picture with Dr. Grandin (after she signed our village library copy of “Emergence: Labeled Autistic) and the slideshow. One thing I like about hearing Dr. Grandin speak is that she is never afraid to tell you what she thinks, even if you might not agree with everything she says. I’m like that, too.

In conclusion, Dr. Grandin is one of my heroes and I am glad that I got to meet her again. I look forward to a possible visit from her to Camphill in 2018! I will be more than happy to come back to the Marion Institute again if you can manage to get Ron Suskind, author of “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism,” and his son Owen, to speak. Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Yours truly,
Joan Hill
Dairy Farmer and Gardener at Camphill Village USA

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