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    Expert Spotlight: Lynn A. Robinson, ‘Intuitive Advisor’

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 10:44 AM [Expert Spotlight]
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    Each month, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a query – it’s easy and free: www.profnet.com

    Intuition: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence; a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.

    Through her work as an intuitive advisor, Lynn A. Robinson has helped thousands of people make changes and achieve their goals, both personally and professionally, by following their intuition.

    In her keynotes and seminars, Robinson teaches that intuition is a ready source of direction available to all of us; an invisible intelligence that animates our world and helps guide our lives. When we follow its wisdom, we are led to success, happiness and inner peace. She says we all have the ability to access this power and develop it for practical use in everyday life, as well as for discovering and achieving long-term goals.

    Robinson is the author of six books on intuition, including the newly released “Put Your Intuition to Work: How to Supercharge Your Inner Wisdom to Think Fast and Make Great Decisions” (Career Press, July 2016).

    We sat down with Robinson to find out more:

    What is intuition?

    Intuition is quick and ready insight. It’s your “inner GPS” that’s always guiding you in life. It's a powerful tool for creative ideas, perceptive insight, and quick thinking. Researchers have found that, on average, we make more than 35,000 decisions each day. Intuition is a skill that you need in today’s rapidly changing world to both think fast and make those decisions successful.

    I love this quote from Brian Tracy: "Your intuition is your direct pipeline to a form of intelligence that is completely beyond your conscious brain. Successful, effective, happy people are those who have gotten onto the beam of their own intuitive senses and who rely continuously on their inner guidance -- and they seldom make mistakes.” 

    How can intuition help people in their daily lives?

    Intuition helps you make decisions when you don’t have all the facts. You need it when you’re overwhelmed with data and figures. Or, in the other extreme, it's crucial when you're trying something new in your life and there’s no real data to pursue. You’re on your own with your own gut instincts. 

    Whether you call it a gut feeling, an instinct, a hunch, an inner voice, or simply your intuition, there’s guidance available to you every moment of the day. That information can help you make successful decisions, alert you to catastrophes before they arise, provide insight into your relationships, and guide you to your own calling and purpose.

    Can people develop their intuition? Is it something one can learn?

    Intuition is like any skill -- the more you use it, the better you get at it. I tell people to ask their intuition questions such as, “What’s my right next step?” or “What do I need to know about this person or situation?” Listen for the answers. Each of us has a predominate form in which we receive intuitive information. It may come through feelings, images, body sensation (gut feelings) or through your thoughts. When you are making a decision, pay particular attention to all of these ways that your intuition communicates with you.

    You have a great story about “winning” the lottery. Can you share it with our readers?

    A few months after I was married to my husband Gary, I woke up early one Wednesday morning with six numbers running through my head. I found I could neither fall back to sleep nor stop the numbers from endlessly repeating themselves in my mind. I had never played a lottery before, but it occurred to me that these numbers might represent a lottery win.

    Gary was snoring beside me. I shook him gently and said, "How many numbers are in the Massachusetts State Lottery?"

    "Six," came his mumbled response.

    "I think I might have the winning lottery numbers," I replied.

    Gary was on his feet, grabbed a paper and pen, and was ready to write down the numbers before I barely had the previous words out of my mouth. I've never seen him wake up that fast since!

    With the "winning numbers" in hand, Gary agreed to play them in the Wednesday lottery. I promptly put the whole thing out of my mind until Friday morning, when I casually asked if he'd checked on whether our number had won. He confessed that he'd had a crisis at work and had completely forgotten to play the game on Wednesday.

    We took out the newspaper to find the lottery list. You guessed it: My numbers were the winning numbers for 5.2 MILLION DOLLARS on Wednesday -- the same day I received the information and the day he didn’t play it. So close and yet so far away...

    P.S. I'm still married to him. ;-)

    What are you working on now?

    My latest book, “Put Your Intuition to Work,” has just been published by Career Press. An audio version has been produced by Vibrance Press. I’m looking forward to doing lots of interviews and speaking on the topic.

    I also just redesigned my website at LynnRobinson.com. There are many new quizzes. My favorites include “Are You a Gut Truster?” and “Are You Making the Right Decision?” There’s also “How to Develop Your Intuition" videos and free e-books, such as “How to Listen to Your Inner CEO.” Oh, and I live on Cape Cod, so I’m hoping to enjoy my summer in the midst of all of this!

    Expert Spotlight: Dr. James Robinson, Brain Expert

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 12:50 PM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    I may not be a brain surgeon, but with Brain Tumor Awareness Month coming up in May, selecting a neurosurgeon for our Expert Spotlight was an easy decision.

    An accomplished neurosurgeon, Dr. James Robinson is a board-certified and nationally recognized neurosurgeon providing the most leading-edge neurosurgery. The hallmark of his expertise includes cranial microsurgery, gamma knife radiosurgery and endoscopic cranial surgery. He has also participated as a principal investigator on several successful clinical trial initiatives.

    As founder and president of Atlanta Brain and Spine Care, Dr. Robinson became a recognized leader in minimal access spinal surgery and cranial microsurgery, serving the Atlanta market and southeastern region for a decade before. He also held the position of medical director of the Piedmont Gamma Knife Center, where he was recognized for high quality of care and served as chief of neurosurgery and chairman of the Neurosciences Department at Piedmont Hospital.

    Dr. Robinson returned to Atlanta to open his clinical practice, Brain Expert, after a sabbatical that afforded him the opportunity to serve the poor in developing countries and to do research and development work to advance his field. He remains actively involved in organizations such as Honduras Outreach, Inc. (HOI); Medication Radiation Centers, LLC, a social entrepreneurship project to Latin America; Hospital Bloom in El Salvador; and Hospital Cedimat in the Dominican Republic. He is also a supervising mentor in biomedical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Cub Scouts den leader. You can view his full bio here.

    We sat down with Dr. Robinson to find out more about what he does and the future of brain surgery:

    What do you wish more people knew about brain health and brain tumors?

    Brain tumors are more common and much more treatable -- even often curable -- than most people think.

    What’s the most exciting research happening today in brain tumors?

    Our most significant recent advances in brain tumors, as well as other tumors, have been the development of medical treatments called “targeted therapies.” These are antibody-based treatments that target tumors proteins and can result in very dramatic effects. Highly focal radiation (Gamma Knife radiosurgery) can also provide great outcomes for some patients without the need for surgery.

    Where do you see the future of brain research?

    For tumors, our knowledge of tumor development on a molecular genetics basis has been exploding. This field will continue to blossom for years to come, resulting in further exciting treatment options.

    Can you tell us more about your sabbatical to help patients in underserved countries?

    What a special time for me! I am so blessed to have been able to carve out time to work alongside wonderful doctors and staff in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. These activities involved brain tumor surgery and Gamma Knife treatment, complex spinal cases in children, and some public health work.

    What are you working on now?

    My full-time practice in Atlanta as a regional resource for patients with brain, pituitary, and skull base tumors, as well as trigeminal neuralgia (an extremely severe nerve pain in the face). Also occasional trips abroad for continued mission work in Latin America, as well as a new nonprofit to fund my activities bringing patients to the U.S. for treatment that I can provide here that is not available in their native countries.

    Media interested in interviews with Dr. Robinson can make contact via Hillary Zody, hzody@hendersonshapiro.com or +1-678-352-7105.

    Expert Spotlight: Don Sullivan, ‘The DogFather’

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 9:06 AM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    In my personal life, I’m known as “the crazy dog lady.” I wear that badge with pride. So, for this edition of Expert Spotlight, I caught up with Don Sullivan, aka “The DogFather.” With National Pet Month coming up in May, he would make a great interview for any dog articles you’re working on.

    A former marine wildlife handler, and a Master Dog Trainer and dog behaviorist since 1986, Sullivan made his media debut in 2000 with his national Canadian TV show, “Doggin’ It.” Wowing audiences with his seven-minute makeovers while working with dogs he’d never met before, Sullivan hit the world stage in 2008 with his globally televised “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” system. He is renowned for achieving amazing behavioral transformations in even the most extreme “bad” dog behavior cases, with positive changes seen in just minutes.

    We sat down with Sullivan to find out more about how he does what he does, tips for dog owners on taking care of behavioral issues, and what he’s up to next:

    How did you become a dog trainer?

    My dog training career began to take an exciting turn in 2000. I had trained a local newscaster’s dog and she had been very pleased. She invited me on to her news program as a weekly guest expert. The segment generated so much interest that the phone lines used to light up every time I appeared. We never had enough time to get through all of the viewer questions.

    Soon, the television station’s management approached me with a proposal for a fun and educational dog-related national show, “Doggin’ It.” I was to be the host and also perform a dedicated training lesson. Needless to say, I accepted the proposal.

    The premise of each training lesson was for me to take an untrained, problematic dog I had never met before and train that dog in just seven minutes of real time (with no edits during or after the filming). I focused on a certain behavioral issue (such as pulling on the leash, jumping up, barking, or even aggression) and each and every time I was able to wow the cameramen with the results. After a show aired, we’d always receive many emails with viewers expressing how amazed and even shocked they were. Some were skeptical and wanted to know what the catch was, but there was none. It’s just that my Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play Method was able to instantly tap into the core of the dog’s canine nature, no matter its breed or age.

    From the “Doggin’ It” episodes, I produced my own unique “extreme results” training DVDs, and from there I designed my own patented training collar (with a view to improving upon the faults and weaknesses of all other dog training collars on the market).

    I also began traveling, scouting out other opportunities to expand my business. That’s when I met Denise DuBarry Hay, founder of one of the two top global infomercial companies (Thane International). Just two weeks earlier, Denise had very reluctantly given away her beloved dog because of his severe aggression problems. She was heartbroken and very interested in what I had to say about being able to rehabilitate all kinds of dogs, no matter their issues. Denise quickly connected me with Thane. The company was very impressed, so they took me on board, and together we began promoting my Perfect Dog training system (with over 1 million systems sold since 2008).

    Thus began my quest to change people’s lives on a worldwide scale. Much has happened since then, including a PBS television special and branching out into training service dogs. It’s such a priceless reward for me to offer lifelong solutions to struggling (and often utterly exasperated) dog owners, and to see their dogs’ quality of life maximized.

    What behavioral issues most commonly cause pet owners to abandon their dogs?

    Most people start out with a “Lassie”-type dream for their new dog, especially new dog owners. They envision a fulfilling life of mutual companionship, fun, and love. Yet, most often, this dream is quickly shattered within days of a new dog’s homecoming, and soon life with the dog is shadowed by frustration, destruction, and disappointment.

    Nearly 4 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters each year. Aggression is one of the top reasons why people give up on their dogs and surrender them to the pound. Other reasons are constant housebreaking problems, severe separation anxiety, and never-ending mischievous and irritating behaviors (such as destructive digging, chewing up household items, getting into the garbage, etc.).

    These owners get to the point where they simply have had enough of the chaos despite their many attempts to train their dogs. One of my popular sayings is, “A dog never fails training. It’s the training that fails the dog.” The owners can no longer endure the distress, the financial loss of expensive items destroyed, the constant interruptions to their daily lives, and/or the danger of someone possibly getting hurt. They view their dogs as burdens (even just subconsciously) and give up on hoping that things could ever be different. 

    It’s such a shame, because I know (and have proven time and again) that everything could turn around within days for most of these exasperated owners. With each and every one of them, the foundation of all the problems is very simple: from day number one, the dog was allowed to be dominant -- even in just little ways at first, which soon led to bigger ways. What used to be “cute” and entertainingly mischievous when the dog was a puppy (or at least excusable) later became undesirable and even very problematic. Most dog owners don’t realize that the seeds they sow in the very early stages will determine the dynamics of the future relationship.

    What’s the biggest mistake most dog owners make when it comes to their pet’s behavior?

    The biggest mistake dog owners make is trying to relate to their dogs on human terms. We must deal with dogs the way they have been innately created to deal with one another in order to create a strong, harmonious “home pack” environment. If we turn to bribery and doting as forms of persuasion toward good behavior instead, we will create all sorts of problems for ourselves and our dogs.

    If you took a stray dog and placed him with an existing dog pack, the other dogs would each assess the new dog according to its strength of will. The pack leader would first establish his authority over the new dog and then each of the other dogs down the line would either dominate or submit to the new dog, depending on the new dog’s personality. After all of the pack positions got sorted out, harmony would be established, and an intense loving bond would be built that would only be shaken if one of the “lower” dogs tried to challenge the leader for the top spot. 

    Now, if you also considered placing a chunk of tasty meat between the new dog and the pack leader (or even one of the more dominant dogs), the leader would be willing to fight (even to the point of death) to establish his right to that food. In a dog pack, whoever wins the food is the boss and the one who doesn’t is the subordinate. The submissive dog must wait until he is permitted to eat by the leader.

    With this in mind, think of what kind of message you send your dog every time you hand him a piece of food from your hand. Can you start to see this “treat giving” in a new light? Whether you are using the food to reward your dog for good behavior or not, you are still silently telling your dog that he is the leader and you are the subordinate. Your dog sees that you willingly relinquish to him one of main elements of life he’s willing to fight for, so to him you’re the passive and submissive one in the relationship.

    Now multiply this by the number of tasty morsels you “lovingly” offer your dog day after day and you suddenly realize why your dog is challenging you in many areas of your life with him. According to your dog, he’s the boss when it comes to food, so why shouldn’t he also lead in all other situations? Sure, yes, you might have an advantage over him in terms of size and weight, but take away the restraints like the leash, baby gates, and shut doors, and who knows what disasters will quickly ensue? Your dog will simply do what he wants without regard for your wishes, and he won’t understand consequences in terms of the human world he’s been brought into. Hence the reason why many dogs tragically get run over.

    So, what you thought was a “loving” thing to do for your dog turns out to be one of the worst things you can do for him. Your dog didn’t have a choice whom he went home with. The kind of life he will end up living for his 15 or so years with you is all up to you. So, it’s your responsibility to do that which is truly loving -- in dog terms -- and train him to accept the subordinate position.

    Once your dog contentedly accepts his place in your “home pack” hierarchy, you will be able to trust him because he will naturally look to you for leadership. And the exciting and wonderfully fulfilling thing is this: this “Trust Zone” opens up all kinds of opportunities. You can now live that “Lassie” type dream together, free of stress and heartache, and full of the priceless rewards that the master and best friend relationship brings.

    Can you tell me about your work with service dogs?

    Training service dogs to assist injured war veterans and disabled persons was a natural addition to my work. Since my training method works so well with all dogs no matter the dog’s breed or age, I was able to use my system to create a strong foundation for the service dog training. Actually, we simply use my Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play Method to bring each dog to the “Trust Zone” level and then train for the specialized assistance skills on top.

    The most rewarding service dog placement The DogFather Academy has so far accomplished involved a wheelchair-bound war veteran in Maryland. Clark had lost both of his legs in battle and was yearning for a four-legged friend to help him through the tough times. We paired him with “Josie,” a beautiful English Cream Golden Retriever. Josie was a luxury-breed breeding female, but she had turned aggressive and was about to be euthanized by the breeder. Our team saved her and we were able to fully rehabilitate her, transforming her into a helpful and affectionate companion for Clark.

    Josie helps Clark by picking up items and she provides him with emotional stability, especially during Clark’s “freak-out” episodes -- as Clark calls them -- where he becomes overwhelmed in public situations. The relationship between them is a pricelessly rewarding win-win situation. Clark was given a new lease on life, and Josie was rescued from death row.

    What are you working on now?

    I can’t tell you everything I’m working on right now because some of it’s confidential and needs to be kept under wraps until the official release. However, I can tell you that my team and I just released our new website (www.dogfather.tv). It features a fresh design, plus lots more helpful and inspiring content. Via the site, people can now subscribe to our new mailing list, enabling them to receive direct updates rather than just relying on our Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/PerfectDogSystem/ and www.facebook.com/donsullivanthedogfather.

    We’re also gathering expressions of interest in a Perfect Dog Interactive Seminar tour. People can register their interest in having a Perfect Dog seminar staged in their city by filling out the form that’s on our Contact page. The interactive seminars will feature an enlightening and motivating presentation followed by a chance to have me work one-on-one with audience members and their dogs. The seminars will provide a great opportunity for people to connect with other Perfect Dog enthusiasts, so they can build their own community of like-minded and supportive dog lovers.

    For media interviews, contact Sullivan through his website:
    dogfather.tv/contact/

    Expert Spotlight: Steven Rothberg, College Recruiter

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 1:42 PM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    Spring is the height of internship hiring season, when employers and students start to get serious about summer jobs. With that in mind, this edition of Expert Spotlight shines the light on Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter, an interactive recruitment media company used by college students and recent graduates to find great careers.

    Rothberg’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age. Disciplined in fifth grade for selling candy during math class and in college for running a massive fantasy hockey league, Rothberg managed to channel his passions into something more productive after graduate school.

    A fully recovered lawyer, Rothberg founded the business that morphed into College Recruiter and now, as its visionary, helps to create and refine the company's strategy and leads its business development efforts.

    We sat down with Rothberg to find out more about what he does and to get some tips on internships:

    Steven, can you tell us a little more about College Recruiter?

    At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent grad deserves a great career. We believe in creating a great candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers. Our clients are primarily colleges, universities, and employers who want to recruit dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year.

    How can students go about finding the right internship for them?

    There are a number of ways of finding an internship, entry-level job, or any other type of employment opportunity. A mistake some job seekers make is putting all of their eggs into one basket -- they'll only network; they'll only participate in on-campus recruiting; they'll only use social media sites; they'll only use job boards. The correct approach is to use a variety of methods, and modify your strategies and tactics as you learn which ones are working and which aren't. 

    We'll hear sometimes that a student has applied to 200 internships using a job board and received no interviews. Clearly, their approach isn't working. If you've applied to 200 jobs without getting a bite, you've got to expect no bite if you repeat the same process another time. 

    So, what do you do? Well, if you're just using job boards, then start networking. And networking, by the way, doesn't mean asking everyone you know for help finding a job. Networking is about helping others, knowing that some will choose to reciprocate by offering to help you.

    Bottom line: The process of finding a job is a job. Get out of your comfort zone. Don't just apply to jobs that are advertised online. Do apply to those, as those employers are actively hiring, but also network, volunteer, go to job fairs, participate in on-campus recruiting, set up a meeting with your school's career service office and follow their suggestions, and keep adapting as you learn what works and what doesn't. 

    What are the biggest mistakes students make when selecting an internship or looking for their first full-time gig?

    Too many students who are choosing between potential internships are too focused on the perceived sexiness of the employer's brand. Employers with strong brands attract a disproportionately large number of candidates, but that also means it is easier to find a great internship with an employer that offers a great place to work but isn't as well-known. The employers with the strongest brands are typically those that sell products and services to consumers. Look for employers in the business-to-business world, because they sell their products and services to other employers. 

    With so many graduates looking for jobs at the same time, how can they stand out from the crowd?

    What employers value above all else is a candidate who can demonstrate they're able to do the job for which they're being hired. That means work experience matters more than high grades and even prestigious schools. If you're an accounting major, get work experience by volunteering to do the taxes for your friends, family, and friends of family. Volunteer to do the books for a local nonprofit. Then convert that excellent, practical experience into a part-time job or even a paid internship, perhaps with a small business. Then convert that experience into a paid internship with the kind of organization for which you want to work upon graduation.

    What are you working on now?

    We're finding tremendous success in helping our mostly Fortune 1,000 and government agency clients hire dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of one-, two-, and four-year college and university students and recent graduates with zero to three years of experience by using a multi-pronged approach to driving high-targeted candidates to the career sites of the employers to apply.

    For our employer clients with large or difficult hiring needs, this is where the real magic happens. We proactively reach out to high-quality, passive candidates through our 1.5-year-old "right opportunity to the right person at the right time" targeted display and mobile banner ad solution. There are two basic ways other websites deliver banner ads. They either follow the Facebook or Google models:

    • Facebook delivers banners based upon the demographics of the user, so the right opportunity to the right person but rarely at the right time, as people on Facebook are often looking at videos of cute kittens.
    • Google delivers banners based upon the content the person is reading, so the right opportunity at the right time but rarely the right person, as the people who are looking at articles about whether a home office is deductible are rarely accountants and people who are reading about the symptoms of the flu are rarely nurses.

    College Recruiter delivers the right opportunity to the right person at the right time. We look at their demographics like Facebook but only deliver the ads when those people are looking at content related to the opportunity. For example, we'll deliver the ad for an accounting firm when a Californian who is diverse, military veteran, and graduated in 2015-2016 from any four-year college and majored in accounting is reading an article about accounting or finance. For more information, see www2.CollegeRecruiter.com/advertising.

    For media interviews, reach Rothberg via emailLinkedIn and Twitter.

    Expert Spotlight: Temple Grandin, Activist and Author

    Monday, March 7, 2016, 11:19 AM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    With Autism Awareness Month around the corner, this edition of Expert Spotlight features the world’s most famous person with autism, Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

    You likely know Dr. Grandin from the 2010 Emmy-winning HBO biopic about her life. She speaks internationally on autism and has transformed people’s perception of autism spectrum disorders. In her first book, “Thinking in Pictures,” Dr. Grandin explained the way she thought, opening the eyes of doctors, psychiatrists, educators, and parents, many of whom thought their child or patient was “retarded.” She has expanded understanding with many subsequent books, including “The Way I See It,” “Different . . . Not Less” and, most recently, “The Loving Push.”

    What you might not know about Dr. Grandin is that she is also renowned in the world of animal science. A professor and advocate for the humane treatment of animals, she has helped improve our understanding of how animals should be handled humanely and has designed many of the largest animal handling facilities in the world.

    Dr. Grandin will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Autism Conference (in Omaha on March 11 and Orlando on May 1), hosted by Future Horizons, the world’s largest distributor of resources on autism, Asperger’s, and sensory issues. Even with her very busy schedule, Dr. Grandin was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

    There are so many resources available for autism now that weren’t available when you were younger. What has been the biggest change you have seen in society’s interaction with autistic individuals?

    Getting really good early intervention programs in place. This is so important. You have 2- and 3-year-olds that aren’t talking. You’ve got to start working with these kids now. You have to get good early intervention.

    Also, a change in diagnostic criteria. A diagnosis for tuberculosis is definitive. The problem with autism is that there are no tests like that. It’s a behavioral profile. If a child shows certain behaviors, you give them an autism label.

    Over the years, doctors have been changing diagnostic guidelines. Back in the ‘80s, to be labeled autistic, the child had to have speech delay. Then in the early ‘90s, they added Asperger’s. So you now have autism with speech delay, and Asperger’s with no obvious speech delay. In 2013, they removed Asperger’s and, basically, the autism with speech delay and with no speech delay all merged together.

    What’s the impact of that?

    The impact of that is not good. You now have a huge spectrum that goes from a genius programmer working in Silicon Valley to someone who can’t dress themselves. Really smart kids are put in the same classroom as really severe kids.

    There are three different levels: normal (or higher) and socially awkward; a mid-range group with some speech; and then very severe kids that stay severe, with no speech and severely impaired. One of the mistakes that’s made when they get older is that they’re all being treated the same way.

    What’s the solution?

    If you don’t do early intervention, you definitely have a higher probability that they’re going to do badly. You’ve got to do early intervention. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.

    You are also a big proponent of animal welfare and improving standards in slaughterhouses. How did you get involved with that?

    I was exposed to beef cattle when I went to my aunt’s ranch when I was 15. This brings an interesting point that kids get interested in things they’re exposed to. Schools are cutting funding for arts programs and kids aren’t getting exposed to enough career options to find out what they want to do.

    What were some of the problems you saw in the industry?

    I saw cattle being treating badly. In 1999, I was hired by McDonald’s to implement a simple scoring system to evaluate floor plans [in slaughterhouses].

    The first thing you have to do is get people to manage stuff right. I have a real emphasis on finding practical solutions to making things better. I can fix equipment, but I can’t fix people management problems with equipment.

    You were the focus of the HBO film “Temple Grandin.” What was it like to see your life depicted on the screen?

    They did a beautiful job. Emily Gerson Saines, the producer, is the mother of an autistic child, and she did everything she could to make it good. It showed me accurately what I was like as a teenager. It was sort of like going through a time machine.

    To find out more about Dr. Grandin, visit her website at www.templegrandin.com. For media interviews, reach her through Lyn Dunsavage Young at Future Horizons: lyn@fhautism.com or (800) 489-0727.


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