AoAlive All Autistic Panel – Live Streamed on Facebook Feb 2 6:30 PM PST

AoA Alive: Thursday, February 2, 2017 – 6:30-9:00PM PST(actual start time may vary slightly, we’ve never live streamed before).

Watch AoA live on The Art of Autism’s Facebook page.

In keeping with our mission to support the voices and values of autistic advocates to be at the forefront of conversations about all-things autism, we have six dynamic panelists joining us for this, The Art of Autism’s first live streamed panel. We’ll stream from the Los Angeles area, and will be accessible to you ~ where ever you are ~ via our Facebook page. The panel will be moderated by long-time advocate and Art of Autism co-founder, Keri Bowers, with intro music performed by Enrique Duarte.

TOWN HALL – Autism Global Community Needs Assessment

An Open Forum ~ Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A… Topics our autistic panel members will discuss include:

  • Ability vs. deficit models ~ Transitions planning; the earlier the better ~ What’s working and what’s not in goals, objectives and outcomes planning ~ Barriers & obstacles to greater independence and self-determination ~ Roles of parents and caretakers in supporting or hindering independence ~ How involved is your child or adult in creating and fulfilling on their life plans? ~ Safety: real vs. imagined fears ~ How to inspire self-determination with integrity and respect ~ Success & challenges; short stories shared by panel members

Purpose: A person-centered forum to determine what actual resources, services, and supports people with developmental disabilities in our community need or are lacking to be more productive, self-determined, self-sufficient, and independent individuals.

Target Audience: Self advocates, parents, professionals, community stakeholders, this forum will be geared toward teens and adults.


We hope you’ll tune in live to hear what is sure to be an animated and educational discussion. The Art of Autism looks forward to producing future live streamed events, programs and educational media content, including a program we’re excited about called “AoALIVE”. The concept of this ~ we’ll call it a “show” ~ will put Art of Autism artists, poets, bloggers, actors, singers and musicians in the interviewer’s seat to talk about all-things autism with other autistics.

The great thing about today’s event is that no matter what unexpected things happen, the program will be unique as it unravels to reveal its personality and breath. Of our six panelists, four are seasoned or semi-seasoned speakers, two have never spoken in front of a live audience. Each of them have unique, inspired perspectives; none of them have ever met before; two are teenagers, and four are adults.

We sent out some core questions a couple of weeks ago to help the group prepare for the first segment of our discussion. The second hour’s format will include questions from the in-person audience, several sent in advance from people throughout the U.S., and possibly, we’ll have time to get to some IM’d questions asked from our Facebook Page live.

ABOUT ENRIQUE DUARTE – Our musical inspiration

Enrique Duarte IV is a high school junior from Northeast L.A., who’s made an early imprint with his music and work in the autism community. He plays electric, acoustic and bass guitar in a band called “Strange”, and is a featured performer with Jazz Hands for Autism.

A self-taught-advocate at heart, Enrique has been an ambassador for several local non-profits, and has advocated in Sacramento with the Board of Education and Policy Makers for education equality and inclusion. At 11, he was honored by the Los Angeles Kings for his work in helping pass the Autism Insurance Mandate in California. Recipient of numerous awards, Enrique is a member of L.A. Mayor Garcetti’s Youth Leadership Council, representing the East Area of L.A.

 Panelists include:

Alix Generous

Alix Generous is a Scientist, Speaker, Author. Her TED talk “My Inner Life” has over 1.4 million views on TED. @GenerousAlix: #MentalDiversity.

Alix Generous’ childhood was hindered by undiagnosed Autism until she learned to harness her gifts. At 19, she won a research competition for her work in quorum sensing and coral reefs, which she presented to the United Nations in the fall of 2012. In November 2013, she was a youth delegate for the United Nations at their Convention of Climate Change (COP19) where she negotiated technology transfer and issues of medical importance. She has 3 years+ neuroscience research experience studying at the Medical University of South Carolina,Tufts University School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont.

Bryan Dunn

At 38 years old, Bryan is an art enthusiast who enjoys drawing animated Sci-Fi space aliens and characters, and of course, playing video games. Last summer, after a visit to an Art of Autism event where he saw the colorful paintings and ink drawings of other Art of Autism artists beautifully mounted in an outdoor area flanked by Bougainvillea, he knew he wanted to get more serious about his art ~ and his life. “I want more of this! I want to share and show my works based on my passion for Sci-Fi characters with others.” He recently told his family. The access and introduction to what he called “others like him” has accelerated Bryan’s interest in self-advocacy, and planning for his .

Bryan recently appeared on his first live interview with Gary Jesch of Autism Animated. The AoALIVE panel will be the first time Bryan has spoken publicly, and we expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in The Art of Autism collaborative.

Dan Rosien

Dan is an 11th grader who has participated in research about people who type to augment their communication. An intelligent kid with a lot to say via his iPad, Dan is currently a homeschooled 11th grader, and types with 8 people at this time.

Dan will be supported at AoALIVE to use his iPad device by an esteemed member of our Southern California community who has superior credentials in special education, but wishes to remain anonymous in order to put the spotlight on Dan’s voice at this event. Humble much? Go M!

Ikea Wilson

 Film student Ikea Wilson, 23, is an artist and a musician. A recent graduate of Cal State University, Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in art and music, she currently attends Inclusion Films, a practical film school for people with disabilities in Bakersfield, California. Her film instructor at Inclusion Films is an inspiration to her, she says, because he “helps us a lot during class to get us started in the film industry.”

Ikea was a featured subject in last year’s documentary, Normal People Scare me Too. She is also inspired by Barack Obama “Not only was he the first black president, but he proved that anything is possible.”  Wilson said she is happy with where she is at this moment, but “if it wasn’t for God, family, friends, and teachers I wouldn’t be where I am right now.” Read Art of Autism article about Ikea here.

 Luis Tirado

 Luis Tirado is an emerging artist, singer and actor with #autism on a mission: to be independent, self-determined and to help others on the autism spectrum. “Utopia & independence Through Art”

When Luis was 5 years old, he began to sculpt using clay. His precision and attention to detail has made his clay figures popular at many art shows. At 7 years old, he began taking classes at the Liceo de Arte de Puerto Rico and continued until he moved to California in 2009. Until 2012 he kept improving his skills and develops some new. He learned to use other painting medias such as oil pastels, watercolors and drawing cartoons. Currently, continues to develop his skills and expand his horizons towards digital media and computer animations. Although his communication and socialization skills have been impacted due to the autism, he lets you connect with him throughout the art.

 Steve Andrews

Steve is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Bay Technologies, a software products and services company designed from the ground up to successfully employ Autistic adults in software engineering careers at market salary and benefits. With over seventeen years of experience, Steve is a successful software engineer and is a four-time Microsoft MVP Award recipient. Steve is a frequent speaker at over 130 events across North America and engages diverse audiences including families and individuals, educators, and business professionals. After discovering his own Autism in 2012 at the age of 33, Steve dedicated his life to creating.

Read Art of Autism interview with Steve Andrews here.

Understanding, Acceptance, Inclusion, and Opportunity for Autistic individuals everywhere.

 A tax-deductible donation of $10.00 paid by the in-person audience will be split up to provide speaking stipends to our guest panel members. No one who cannot pay will be turned away from this event. The Art of Autism is committed to supporting the value of paying its speakers and artists when and how we can. Your donations are appreciated and help us move in this direction.

Live stream viewers can watch for free, yet feel free to make a tax deductible donation. The Art of Autism is a California 501c3 organization, who has an all-volunteer Board of Directors. visit The Art of Autism’s Facebook page live to watch the event.

We’d like especially, to thank all of the people and organizations that helped us behind the scenes to make this event a blessed reality. The Conejo Valley Friendship Circle/Chabad of the Conejo; Ability Productions; Rene Folse; Floyd, Skeren & Kelly; Autism Spectrum Supports, Parents of Children with All Special Needs (POCWASN); Kindling Studios and all the momma bears out there who support us every day in so many ways, we appreciate you. Thank you to Gary Jesch and Shannon Penrod for their publicity for this event.

If you would like to attend in person visit Eventbrite to purchase tickets.

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