Joel: Artist, Advocate, Animator, All round happy guy, and #Autistic

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Autism Unveiled Week 4

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I’m Joel Anderson, a resident of rural Fallbrook, California, I have a passion for art, animation, and advocating for people with autism and special needs around the world.

I was among the 1 in 1,500 children diagnosed with Autism when I was three years old in 1993. I started a hobby of drawing at age 5 and painting at age 11. When I was 13 years old, I started my own business called “Joel’s Vision Arts”, which sells my art on cards, prints, t-shirts, original artwork and giclees, and the book I wrote and illustrated ~ “Medieval Trio Tales” , it teaches kids about how to stick up for someone in need and to be a friend and not a bully.

I have been volunteering for the Autism Tree Project Foundation for 12 years, they have become a client of mine who commission me to make lots of art for their event. In 2013, I was awarded as Volunteer of the Decade for Autism Tree Project. In 2010 I was honored to receive an award from The International Naturally Autistic People Awards “ ANCA” in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada for my community achievement.

I have spoken to kids of all ages from preschool to University students and adults about autism awareness and acceptance. Now I also encourage companies and business owners to hire people on the autism spectrum. We all have so much to give.

It has been an honor for me to speak Internationally in China, Canada and across the USA.

God has created every one with a purpose.
I want my art to make people smile and to give them hope.
You have a purpose!
Can you smile? That is a gift to someone!
Can you sing? That can soothe someone’s soul.
Do you dance or create some type of art? This can share joy!
How about numbers and details? So many companies need people
with these amazing skills

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I encourage you to never give up and enjoy the journey. Yes, there are hard days, my OCD and Autism can be very difficult for me, but I choose to persevere. If you ever need encouragement, please feel free to contact me.

Joel Anderson, California

Joels website is www.joelsvisionarts.com

Joel is part of the Autism Unveiled Project – 6 weeks of Autism commencing on April 2, 2015, World Autism Awareness Day.

5 Comments

  • Andrea Spinks says:

    Truly inspirational – brilliant !
    Our daughter is autistic and artistic – she has the most beautiful soul and this story has made my day – I can’t wait for Emy to come home tonight so I can give her a massive hug ! XXX
    Thank you for sharing

  • Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing you insights and words of wisdom. My daughter struggles with what it means to be autistic. She tends to focus on the negative side and how different she is from others. I can’t wait to show her your post. You are an inspiring young man.

    Jane

  • Sean says:

    Hi Joel — I really appreciate all you are doing to change stereotypes about autism. What tactics do you recommend for persuading employers to hire people with autism? I’ve been involved in supported employment advocacy for people with other disabilities — challenging work, to be sure.

  • Jessie Male says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience as a self-advocate. Particularly in regards to employment, disability is perceived as a “deficit” and it is so important for people–as you are doing–reinforce the need to employ neurodiverse populations in the workforce.

  • Greg says:

    Joel
    The message “You have a purpose” is so incredibly strong. It is a truly incredible perspective that we all need to adopt. We all have bad days and hard times but knowing that you have a reason for being really provides motivation through those instances. It is our opportunity. It is up to us to seize it and make it the best we can. Thank you for your comments and strength.

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