When my little man was 3 years old, I couldn’t see his future. As he ran circles in my living room there was no way for me to see his potential as a student, adult, or professional. However, what I could see was his ability to hear music. At one-year-old my son would hum Baby Einstein’s Blue Danube Waltz in utter perfection (“The Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra,” 2021).
Many parents focus on their child’s needs to fit into the world first, and as they grow, they start looking at their talents and perhaps wonder how these can turn into potential. How can our children’s talents turn into acceptance, integration, value, contribution, confidence, and even a form of income?
I recently found an organization dedicated to supporting individuals on the spectrum through their arts, and I’m so inspired and excited to share. It aligns with my true passion to help my son (and others) to create their own world in which they are participants, valuable, independent, confident and self-sufficient.
Who are they?
The Art of Autism has been a non-profit organization since 2016 and is led by a group of parents and individuals on the spectrum, with an outstanding set of credentials. They guide, mentor, and inspire with their personal and professional experience. I cannot do them justice in a short blog. Please visit the site and learn about each one of these inspirational Board Members (“Board Members”, 2016).
What do they do?
To foster independence, self-esteem and artistic expression by participation in The Art of Autism Project.”(“Mission,” 2016)
This organization has much to offer individuals on the spectrum. They provide a medium to showcase arts which include visual arts, music, dance, and writing. They provide connection and community to like-minded individuals, and they promote opportunities that will lead to new skills and the potential for making an income.
Parents and businesses benefit as well! They provide ongoing support and advocacy on the topics of respect for the neurodiverse. They collaborate with other organizations and businesses globally, to teach the importance of workplace sensitivity through autistic guest speakers. Art pieces are also offered for marketing and to increase awareness. (“Mission,” 2016) This organization as a whole is forging the way to equality and opportunity.
How do I participate?
The Art of Autism website provides you with an eyeful of color, expression, and resources. You will find tabs for art, events, resources, and writing opportunities for both parents and siblings to share their perspectives. My personal two favorites are the Galleries, for a fun online tour of all the participant’s amazing artwork, and the other is the forum through which I found the nonprofit – #ActuallyAutistic bloggers (“#ActuallyAutistic Bloggers,” n.d.). Here you will find authors from around the world sharing their insightful literary works.
I’m excited to share this nonprofit and its efforts to educate the world about the talents autistic people have and how they naturally contribute with love, honesty, and skill. I hope you will visit the website and share.
The Art of Autism (n.d.) #ActuallyAutistic Bloggers Retrieved from https://the-art-of-autism.com/actuallyautistic-bloggers/
The Art of Autism (2016, September 8) Board Members Retrieved from https://the-art-of-autism.com/board-members/
The Art of Autism (2016, February 1) Mission Retrieved from https://the-art-of-autism.com/mission/mission-2/
The Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra (2021, September 9) Blue Danube Waltz Retrieved from https://youtu.be/j4wKDLUDDfI
Muzikar, Debra. (2021, April 21) YouTube: The history of the art of autism nonprofit Retrieved from https://youtu.be/aP0WwJ-mi24
*Ortiz, M, (2016) Blue Paris – This painting is not a part of the collections in The Art of Autism. It is one of my son’s creations in 6th grade.