In our family, we’ve watched the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland more times than we can count. A zany cast of characters, from the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter, comes together for an unforgettable afternoon. Some leave perplexed, some exhilarated, some frightened– a range of emotions mirrored on the faces of the family members watching from the couch together.
Our son Owen, like so many with autism, has an ‘affinity’– an abiding connection to Disney movies that has made his life richer in the two decades since his diagnosis, both in the solo hours he spends furiously sketching the sidekicks and in the time he spends interacting with others using vocabulary and emotions grown out of Disney soil.
In the wake of the publication of Life, Animated, we’ve heard from countless families about the affinities of their own children. That’s what inspired us to start the Autism Artists Project. We hope it will become a space where the affinities of others, and the intricate and restorative art those affinities often prompt, will become more visible. The stakes are high: we believe there is massive therapeutic and social potential for acknowledging affinities as the complex and often beneficial phenomena they are. Please join us for this affini-tea party by submitting a contribution below.
(The Suskinds, April 2014)
[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Autism Artists Project Contributions” title=”false” description=”false”]