By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A noted author on autism (who is herself autistic) was the headliner today at the seventh annual autism conference at La Salle University.

(Temple Grandin, giving a "TED" talk in 2010.  Photo by Steve Jurvetson)

(Temple Grandin, giving a “TED” talk in 2010. Photo by Steve Jurvetson)

Despite being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, Dr. Temple Grandin (right) went on to get a doctorate in animal husbandry and, in the process, to become a major advocate for those with autism.

Dr. Carole Patrylo, associate director of the autism program at La Salle, says the program brings together the social, medical, and educational worlds, stressing the importance of the educational component in helping people with autism lead productive lives.

“In the (public) educational system, they can stay until the age of 21,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “All those years in the education system, we address the social skills, let’s be on time, what are we going to wear, let’s be polite.  I mean, skills that we take for granted every day, have to be taught to them.”

The conference was co-sponsored by the Green Tree School, one of Philadelphia’s oldest institutions for autistic and special needs students.

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