Autism Unveiled Project

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Autism Unveiled, Voices on the Spectrum
Feb 18 – April 2, 2015

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” Dr. Stephen Mark Shore

“Performance, visual and literary creativity ARE the least-burdened, most purely emotional way to convey the experiences of people on every point of the human spectrum. Rooted in personal connection, the arts free us all to step into one another’s realities, exposing the juxtaposition of brilliance and confusion that is Asperger’s and the ‘normalcy’ that is quite foreign to so many of us,”Jennifer O’Toole, Asperkids

“Autism is my destiny. Destiny is to seek – not to fight against. We may call the same word ‘destiny’ as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. If autism is my path, let me walk it well, let me understand my life walking my path,”Tito Rajarshi Mukhopayday

The Autism Unveiled Project is a six-week project where people on the autism spectrum share their uniqueness. The  kick-off was Feb. 18 with blogs by Dr. Stephen Shore, Jennifer O’Toole and Tito Rajarshi Mukhopayday. Each day through April 2, 2015, the Art of Autism will post 2 blogs from people on the spectrum sharing who they are. The people who have chosen to participate share their gifts, their struggles, and their uniqueness. They’ve also been asked to identify the word or words they use to describe their autism for the title. The Art of Autism has written a blog in the past about descriptors – autistic, person with autism, autti, Aspergian, HFA, etc.

Autism is a neurological variation (a neurodiversity) that occurs in about two percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability. Autism has no socio-economic class, gender, race, country, religion, personality or profession. The purpose of the project is to show the diversity of the population. Through the posting of the blogs an art form in itself is created.

“The concept of neurodiversity provides a paradigm shift in how we think about mental functioning. Instead of regarding large portions of the American public as suffering from deficit, disease, or dysfunction in their mental processing, neurodiversity suggests that we instead speak about differences in cognitive functioning,” Dr. Thomas Armstrong

“For the most part autistic adults are a disenfranchised group of people. We are marginalized and have very little power afforded us by the majority. Collectively, autistic pride is not because we need to celebrate being autistic. Instead, autistic pride is because we need to celebrate our right to exist as full-fledged human beings,” Judy Endow, MSW.

Dates: Feb. 18 – April 2, 2015 (World Autism Awareness Day).

Submission criteria

Press Release: Autism Unveiled Counts Down to World Autism Awareness Day

Interview with Geekclub Books

Gallery of Self-Portraits

Pre Kick-Off Students from Make Studio show their arts and insights

Closing day: Autism Unveiled: A snapshot in the Year 2015 about what it means to be Autistic!

Blogs were listed as they came up starting on Feb. 18 and ending on April 2, 2015. Comment on the blogs and join in the conversation! This is an interactive project.

Week 1

Dr. Stephen Shore kicked-off the Autism Unveiled Project on Feb. 18, 2015

Dr. Stephen Shore kicked-off the Autism Unveiled Project on Feb. 18, 2015

Stephen: Husband, Advocate, Professor, Musician, Bicyclist, Friend and #Autistic
Jennifer: Perpetual, Brimming, Possibility and #Aspie
Tito: #Autism is my Destiny

Michael Whary made a video for parents of newly diagnosed children for his Eagle Scout badge - watch it in his blog.

Michael Whary made a video for parents of newly diagnosed children for his Eagle Scout badge – watch it in his blog.

Michael: Eagle Scout, honest, easygoing, focused and #Autistic
Alex: weird, Welsh, nerd and #Aspie
April: single parent, business owner, and wild woman with #Autism
Eve: Christian, imaginative, gender non-conforming, queer, and #Aspergers

Matt Johnson, Age 29, lives independently

Matt Johnson, Age 29, lives independently

Matt: moderate-severe #Autistic mostly non-verbal and awesomely independent
David: #Autism activist, coach, counselor, author, internet entrepreneur, and #Aspergers

Aaron is a doctoral student in New Mexico and moderates a popular Facebook site for autism

Aaron is a doctoral student in New Mexico and moderates a popular Facebook site for autism

Aaron: Activist, Folklorist, Writer, Doctoral Student and Proud Aspergian
Amrit: I am ME Artist
Michael: Autism Santa, father, husband, advocate, poet, and #Aspie
Ashley: creative, charismatic, artist, and #Aspie

“Autism is not a part of me. It is me. My soul is autistic.” Mikey Allcock, 16-years old, United Kingdom, who was non-verbal until age 10.

Mikey: pianist, artist, altruist, and #Autistic

Week 2

Temple Grandin's ability to think like a cow has enabled her to design over half of all cattle facilities in the United States

Temple Grandin’s ability to think like a cow has enabled her to design over half of all cattle facilities in the United States

Temple: Professor who loves cows and #Autistic
Eddie: unlimited creative ideas, inspiring person with #Autism
Luis: creative, talented and #Autistic
Patrick: Romani Gypsy, author, composer, artist and #Aspie
Stefanie: tall, loves Hello Kitty and Autti

Troy graduated with a law degree yet is having difficulty finding a job as an attorney

Troy graduated with a law degree yet is having difficulty finding a job as an attorney

Troy: overcoming the odds, attorney with #Autism
Austin: Married, male, cinephile writer with high-functioning #Autism
Kati: mother, student, recovering addict, bisexual and #Autistic
Julian: dancer, musician, entertainer, and #Autistic
Amanda: unique and wonderfully-made young woman with #Autism
Lucila: author, speaker, mother of an autistic child, co-founder of Autcreatifs and #Autistic
Thomas: Experimental filmmaker, film buff, good friend and #Autistic

Kateri goes by a pen-name. An optometrist from Canada, she prefers to keep her Aspergers diagnosis private, for professional reasons.

Kateri goes by a pen-name. An optometrist from Canada, she prefers to keep her Aspergers diagnosis private, for professional reasons.

Kateri: kindhearted and resilient, wife, mother, optometrist with #Aspergers
Adam: artist, designer and person with #Autism

Week 3

GeeVero

“We will have true inclusion the moment we are able to accept another person for who they are even if they are completely different from us,” Gee Vero, Germany

Gee:woman, mother, partner, artist, writer, public speaker #Autistic. I am

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“Really if it were not for my autism, I would not see the beautiful colors that I see everywhere, even in dust,” Jeremy Sicile-Kira, California, U.S.A.

Jeremy: #Autism is the prism which through I see the world
Benjamin: sensitive, loving art-oriented person with #Autism
Dylan: Talented, funny, artistic teenager with #Autism
Dillon: loving, silent #Autistic teenager
Andrea: previously a seeker now a happily Asper architectural photographer
Jonathan: witty, articulate, creative, cartoon-y, insightful, introspective, cinephile, pop-culture enthusiast #Autistic
Mal: parent, queer, mangaka, gamer and #Aspie
Kimberly: creative lady on the #Autism spectrum
Ben: magician, artist and #Aspie
Harrison: creative, imaginative, funny-person with #Autism
Mandy: mother, artist, writer, and #Aspie
Jane: parent, photographer, advocate, Jewish and #Autistic
Joe: smart, not deaf, love people, romantic, loyal and #Autistic

Week 4

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“I can see, feel, hear, and taste things that many others can’t,” Patricia George, Nova Scotia, Canada

Patricia: undine, photographer, artist, and #Autistic
Joel: artist, advocate, animator, all-round happy guy and #Autistic
Athena: Greek, abstract artist, photographer, actress, author, poet, and non-verbal #Autistic with limited language
Kevin: artistic, tall, loves music, goofy and #Autistic

Ori created art for 1000 days and has a book "From Stick Figures to Picasso"

Ori created art for 1000 days and has a book “From Stick Figures to Picasso”

Ori: creative, adventurous, goofy #Aspie
Nicole: determined, passionate, exuberant young lady with #Autism
Alexandre: funny, loyal, and lovable person living with #Autism

Maria: Greek, radio host, wise, poet, actress, photographer and #Autistic
Debbie: funny and #Autistic

Jackie was diagnosed at age 46 with Aspergers. She received her diagnosis after her child was diagnosed.

Jackie was diagnosed at age 46 with Aspergers. She received her diagnosis after her child was diagnosed.

Jackie: Christian, mom, advocate, entrepreneur, artist, poet, and #Aspie
Neri: Diamond in the rough and #Autistic artist
Ian: Proud #Autistic
Kelvin: Chinese, practical joker, Tourettes, young man with #Autism

Week 5

Tom Iland asked for accommodations and passed the CPA exam

Tom Iland asked for accommodations and passed the CPA exam

Tom: CPA, public speaker, motivator and man with #Autism
Katiuska: kind, smart, artistic girl who loves Dora the Explorer and #Autistic
Nik: artist/autist humanist and #Autistic
Maura: Magical cheeky loyal Asperkid

"Do Not Cut Here" Artist Statement: "You cannot fix what is not broken. Autism is not a disease. We are not incomplete puzzles—we are whole human beings. We are not tragedies—we are products of neurodiversity. Eliminating autism means eliminating us." Chelsea Dubb

“Do Not Cut Here” Artist Statement: “You cannot fix what is not broken. Autism is not a disease. We are not incomplete puzzles—we are whole human beings. We are not tragedies—we are products of neurodiversity. Eliminating autism means eliminating us.” Chelsea Dub

Chelsea: Vegan, feminist, artist, and #Autistic
Gerhard: introverted, cautious, artistic and #Aspie
Brandon: Animator, Writer, and #Autistic teenager
Gerry: Philosophy graduate, introspective, isolated, artistic, and #Autistic
Grant: author, artist, advocate, a messenger and young man with #Autism
Maranda: artist, author, poet, philosopher, and proud #Aspie

Sarah E. Vaughn drew this self-portrait because she didn't have the words to expain who she is

Sarah E. Vaughn drew this self-portrait because she didn’t have the words to expain who she is

Sarah: Single, mom, pencil, artist, composer #Aspie
Bruce: Idealist with #Autism
Chris: random, crazy as a fox, artistic and #Aspie

Week 6

"My autism is the reason I'm in college and I'm successful. It's the reason I care," Jacob Barnett, 16-year old physicist

“My autism is the reason I’m in college and I’m successful. It’s the reason I care,” Jacob Barnett, 16-year old physicist

I am Jake
Ben: outgoing, friendly, musical and #Aspie
Sarah: mom, seeker Aspien
Annaclaire: joyful, curious, experimental and #Autistic
Nate: sophisticated, hard to match, way too not in the mix, proud #Aspie
Tiago: thoughful, kind, creative, great sense of humor with #Autism

Stephanie Tihanyi "Neurodiverse Tree of Life"

Stephanie Tihanyi “Neurodiverse Tree of Life”

Stephanie: Visionary artist, over-looked #Aspergers
David: APEX singer, Automan artist and person with #Aspergers
Terah: artist, musician, chronic maigraineur, and #Autistic
Jayson: artist, music fan, and #Aspergers
Michael: artistic, easy going, friendly and #Autistic
Brigid: fire spinner, performer, writer and #Aspie

Jason Cantu, a college graduate, almost lost his life last year. He tells the story and illustrates his life with maps.

Jason Cantu, a college graduate, almost lost his life last year. He tells the story and illustrates his life with maps.

Jason: college graduate, actor, artist, radio-dj aka Captain Retro, #Autistic
Erica: mathematical and oneiric
Craig: Jewish, inspirational, life-changer, #Aspergers
Brittany: empath, creative, nerd, trustworthy, unconventional, persevering and #Autistic PDD-NOS

April 2, World Autism Awareness Day (let’s make it World Autism Acceptance Day)

Emma: an #Autistic girl whose body and mouth-words do not always pay attention to her bright mind.
Michael: visual artist, MBA, Asperger’s overcame 10-year battle with severe OCD … What is normal?
Jason: son, brother, friend, advocate, activist, mentor, liaison, grad student, tenacious, #Autistic

Closing day: Autism Unveiled: A snapshot in the Year 2015 about what it means to be Autistic!

Thank you to all the participants.