Letter to the Editor: Temple Grandin had impact during visit

Dear Editor:
I loved your article on Temple Grandin. I am in total agreement with the last paragraph, wishing more parents and educators had been there.
As a paraprofessional at Meeker Elementary School, we put out the word to our special-needs families and staff as soon as we heard Temple Grandin was coming.
One family with their autistic child was there and it was awesome to watch the little one interact with Grandin at the book signing table.
It meant a lot for the student to see someone like them. Now the student has a reference point of knowing they are not alone in their struggles.
One question the student asked Grandin was, “Did you throw tantrums at school?”
Grandin said, “Yes, and the school called my parents, and my parents had to come to school and take me home.” This had quite an impact.
I would love to see more speakers come to Meeker who address behavior and sensory issues. Parents of “normal” children would benefit greatly as well as our parents of special needs students.
Parents need a shot of encouragement, and speakers such as Grandin sure gave me the encouragement I needed as a paraprofessional.
Motivational speakers are always welcome in my world.
Toni N. Francis
Meeker