The story of yet another uplifting autism organization, rooted in affinities and the beautiful creations they engender, comes to us from a fellow parent-turned-activist that Ron met at the Walt Disney Family Museum in January.
The Art of Autism is a collaborative of artists, poets, entrepreneurs, and entertainers
on the autism spectrum that showcases the myriad gifts of autism. They have put on numerous art exhibits and entertainment events across the United States and Canada in the last three years, and were visited by artists and creators from 151 different countries. It was started by Debra Muzikar and Keri Bowers, both mothers of children on the spectrum with unique gifts for art and creativity. They blog about issues related to autism on their site (accepting guest posts, for all who are interested).
In early February, Debra wrote a thoughtful and eloquent post about the Suskinds’ story here. In this excerpt, she describes just what it is about autism affinities that makes them so profound:
“We witness Owen do an uncanny Disney voice and lines from I think the Lion King (it’s been years since I watched these movies). It seems Owen’s talent is to embody all the emotions, personalities, and voices of the many, many Disney animated film characters. Through this he communicates profound emotions and responds to every-day life occurrences. It would be the equivalent of a disciple of Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell mastering all the archetypes and knowing exactly which one to embody at the correct moment.”
Currently, The Art of Autism is sponsoring a forty-day advocacy project to bring awareness to the unique personalities of autistic people. “If you met one person with autism, you met one person with autism.” writes Dr. Stephen Mark Shore, a professor and autism research who was diagnosed as a child with “Atypical development and strong autistic tendencies” himself. Dr. Shore and Jennifer O’Toole, Aspie author of the Asperkids series, kicked off this project on February 18. It will culminate on April 2, 2015, World Autism Day.
The project is designed to counteract the negative media which portrays autistic people as broken, needing to be fixed, or worse yet – genetic mistakes. To find out how to submit and more about the project visit this website:
They are also curating art for an international exhibit in Beijing in August 2015.