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SoCS: Making a Difference Being Different


Here’s our prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “difference.” Whatever the word “difference” conjures first in your mind, write about it. Enjoy!

Even though we’re not supposed to plan, I was tossing some ideas around after reading the prompt. I have a category called, “Making a Difference.” I don’t remember where I was going with that, but when I started to type a working title for this prompt, I thought about Temple Grandin and the article I read from my Good Morning America news email.

Temple Grandin has a PhD, so I should’ve typed Dr. in front of her name. She also has autism and has made a huge difference in our awareness and understanding of autism as well as in the lives of animals on farms. I hope you’ll read more about her fascinating life. Maybe I’ll post a video later.

In reading about Temple Grandin and autism, I wondered if the spectrum is much broader than we realize. Maybe it starts with social anxiety and awkwardness or slowness on one end, in which case I have traits. In school, I was almost always the last one done on tests. I’ve always been a slow reader. And an introvert who can force myself to be social, but then I need time alone. I have learned to think carefully before I speak and have a lot of pauses. Otherwise, I might say something inappropriate. which sometimes I do. But I also process slowly. When someone is talking fast and presenting a lot of information, I get lost. I don’t like frenetic music or any store with bright fluorescent lights and lots of stimuli. It’s only been in the past ten years or so that I’ve learned to honor these preferences in myself.

It’s okay to be different and honor our differences. We can help each other that way with everyone using their particular strengths. I have patience. I can paint and draw. My imagination is beyond imagination which can sometimes be a good thing, but I have to be careful not to imagine the worst. Or if I catch myself imagining the worst, I can stop. STOP! and imagine the best, or something different. Thoughts can make a difference.

Making a difference doesn’t have to be grand. We don’t have to save the world like I imagined when I was 11 and escaped into fantasy. We can make small differences with a smile or a kind word. We can make a difference in our own lives or the life of one person or animal.

When I looked up Temple Grandin on YouTube, this is the first video I saw, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” so this is what I’m going with.

So then I went and looked at clips of the movie about Temple Grandin’s life which I have not seen. I was moved by this clip where she says, “I hate parties!” and she wants to be with cattle, and her mother takes time to tell, and show, Temple how much she loves her… I really want to see this movie! But for now, I’ll watch a couple more clips.

For more streams of consciousness and the rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 10, 2021 | (

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

19 thoughts on “SoCS: Making a Difference Being Different

  1. Sometimes we really don’t know what differences we make

  2. One of the things I like about blogging is the time I have to attempt to avoid misunderstandings.

  3. How interesting, JoAnna! Thank you for sharing. I will do more research on her. I understood well all you said about being an introvert. .

  4. I watched the movie several years ago about Temple Grandin. She is an amazing woman who made a difference in her own unique way.

    • I just found out about her a couple a few years ago and found out there was a movie more recently. From what I’ve seen, she and her mother had a lot of courage.

  5. In a lot of ways I think those small differences can be even more important than the enormous ones. I know we need Big Thinkers who change the world, but when your act of kindness lifts up a stranger in the store then you’ve done something that matters. 💛

  6. It just shows that we are all different. And indeed we should honour ourselves and all our little quirks.
    I’ve never heard of Temple Grandin, until now. Lovely post for #SoCS JoAnna.

  7. I like people who are different.

  8. JoAnna, a lot of the ways you describe yourself remind me of me. A few of the others remind me of my sister. I enjoyed the movie clip about Temple Grandin. ❤ Have a great week coming up!

  9. A very interesting post!

    You might’ve already heard this from me, but I would like to see child-development science curriculum implemented for secondary high school students that would include neurodiversity, albeit not overly complicated. Among other aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder, it would explain to students how people with ASD (including those with higher and lower functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent — and mistreated accordingly — when in fact such behavior is really not a choice. Maybe as a result, students with ASD feel compelled to “camouflage,” a term used to describe their attempts at appearing to naturally fit in, which is known to cause their already high anxiety and/or depression levels to worsen. And, of course, this exacerbation also applies to the ASD rate of suicide.

    For one thing, the curriculum could/would make available to students potentially valuable/useful knowledge about their own psyches and why they are the way they are. And besides their own nature, students can also learn about the natures of their peers, which might foster greater tolerance for atypical personalities. (If nothing else, the curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally suited for the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood.)

    • I agree! A child-development science curriculum in high school is a very good idea. I suspect there might be something like this in a few high schools, but, if so, they probably don’t include much on understanding differences like ASD. You’re right in that it shouldn’t be too complicated, Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  10. In 2017, when I asked a teachers federation official over the phone whether there is any child development curriculum taught in any of B.C.’s school districts, he immediately replied there is not. When I asked the reason for its absence and whether it may be due to the subject matter being too controversial, he replied with a simple “Yes”. This strongly suggests there were/are philosophical thus political obstacles to teaching students such crucial life skills as nourishingly parenting one’s child’s developing mind.

    But when it comes to actually implementing curriculum through which students learn about a child’s developing mind, I doubt it will be seriously discussed by school-curriculum decision-makers any time soon. While such curriculum can sound invasive, especially to parents distrustful of the public education system, I sincerely believe it’s in future generations’ best interest.

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