Tips on how to stream PBS’ Autism Consciousness Month programming

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A particular episode of PBS’ “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” hinges on the precept that “typically individuals assume and do issues in a different way, and that’s OK.”

However Temple Grandin is aware of firsthand that various modes of thought are extra than simply OK. They’re important to human progress.

“For those who get the suitable groups of individuals to do issues which have complementary abilities, it will possibly actually, actually make for excellent issues getting carried out,” the animal welfare scientist, creator and autism activist advised The Instances on a current video name from her house in Fort Collins, Colo.

“We’d like the completely different sorts of minds … Typically, educators focus an excessive amount of on the realm of deficit and never sufficient on the realm of ability.”

A number of PBS sequence are celebrating Autism Consciousness Month in April by spotlighting new autistic characters, together with one based mostly on Grandin. The 73-year-old professor of animal sciences at Colorado State College seems as a baby within the aforementioned episode of “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum,” which premiered final week and is on the market to stream in full on the PBS Youngsters YouTube channel.

Further reruns of the “I Am Temple Grandin” episode are slated to air April 22 on all PBS stations and April 30, Could 1 and Could 2 on PBS Youngsters.

“I Am Temple Grandin” sees its principal trio of curious youngsters — Xavier, Yadina and Brad — time journey by means of their secret museum portal to go to a youthful model of the titular scholar in 1953 Massachusetts. There, a cartoon Grandin (voiced by Sara Ralph) teaches her friends that “typically individuals assume and do issues in a different way” by exhibiting them there’s multiple method to fly a kite.

Whereas Xavier, Yadina and Brad stand nonetheless and watch their kites float immediately above them, Grandin attaches her home made “chicken kite” to her bicycle. The opposite kids look on in awe as Grandin’s kite glides by means of the air in her wake — a hovering testomony to the inventive energy of divergent minds.

“I appreciated the truth that it highlighted [that] I like kites,” Grandin advised The Instances after viewing the episode.

“I used to be excellent with kites. Liking kites is one thing that’s a optimistic factor. And I used to spend hours tinkering with completely different sorts of kites to get them to work. A whole lot of youngsters at this time are rising up, they usually don’t tinker with issues anymore. They’re too afraid to make a mistake.”

In a dialog edited for size and readability, The Instances spoke with Grandin about her look in “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” and the significance of autism illustration in kids’s programming.

How did the concept for this episode come about, and the way did you become involved?

[PBS] simply approached me. That’s how I acquired concerned. And I’ve watched the episode. It’s actually cute, and I feel it’s going to be excellent for serving to out the children to grasp different youngsters may be autistic. … One factor that was good for me, once I was in elementary faculty, is my instructor defined to the opposite kids that I had a incapacity, nevertheless it wasn’t seen like a wheelchair, they usually wanted to be serving to me. So I managed to get by means of elementary faculty with out being bullied. Highschool was a nightmare of bullying. I had no speech till I used to be 4. I had all of the traditional signs of autism. However I assumed they did a pleasant job with that episode.

How intently did you’re employed with PBS to develop the storyline?

I had a number of cellphone calls with them. Really, after they did the HBO film on me [2010’s “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes], I had much more enter, working with the writers and producers. [PBS] had entry to many, many talks I had on-line, however I did actually like the best way that they confirmed it.

What was it wish to see your self as a cartoon?

It had grey hair on it, which I used to be form of shocked [to see]. And I had my western shirts on. However I feel it’s a very good factor to be exhibiting to youngsters, as a result of one of many issues I feel lots of people have a tough time understanding is sensory issues — {that a} sound that doesn’t hassle you, like possibly the college bells going off, for instance, would possibly simply be like a dentist’s drill hitting a nerve to a child with autism. Or they could have issues with sure sorts of lighting — it’s too shiny or it sparkles. The sensory points are extraordinarily variable.

What’s the significance of seeing autistic individuals represented in kids’s programming?

It’s essential as a result of it’s exhibiting [that] individuals with autism are a part of the world, of humanity. And we wouldn’t even have these computer systems and Zoom and issues like this that we’re speaking on now with out some individuals with autism. It’s kind of much like having the Paralympics. I used to be actually joyful to see that taking place in the identical venue because the common Olympics, and wheelchair basketball is a reasonably cool factor to look at. And it’s turning into regular. And that’s good.

A cartoon version of Temple Grandin kneeling before her bicycle and kite.

A younger Temple Grandin attaches a chicken kite to her bicycle in “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.”


What do you hope mother and father and youngsters take away out of your story as depicted within the episode?

One factor is to show youngsters to deal with others which might be completely different properly too. It’s essential to show youngsters to be tolerant and type. And [my elementary school teacher doing so] made it potential for me to have a really good, just about good elementary faculty expertise and never be bullied.

However there’s different youngsters proper now in elementary faculty which may be autistic, or possibly they’ve another challenge, they usually’re getting bullied in elementary faculty. I need to thank my instructor for doing what’s now known as peer-mediated intervention. And that helped the opposite youngsters be lots nicer to me.

Concentrate on a number of the sensory points. I can’t multitask. I might present individuals my drawings, they usually’d go, “Oh, possibly you’re bizarre,” however then they’d rent me. I realized how you can promote my work. I’d promote my work, not myself. And that’s why it’s so essential to develop abilities. You may need one other child that’s good at math. Properly, then introduce them to programming.

My thoughts thinks in photo-realistic footage. Proper now, I’m engaged on a guide on visible considering, and I’m working with my fabulous, completely verbal thinker [and editor] Betsy, and I take a look at how she rearranges my stuff. She’s like magic how she does this. However then the issues I write, she wouldn’t have the ability to do. See, that’s the place it’s completely different minds working collectively.

‘Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum’

The place: KOCE, KLCS and KPBS
When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday
Score: TV-Y (appropriate for younger kids)

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