Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

The Art of Autism

Posted: July 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: Autism, Book Review | No Comments »

By Ryan Smoluk, Winnipeg, Manitoba

There are many days when I wonder what my boys will do and be as they get older.  I mean they are only 3.5, they have a lifetime to live before we can tell what skills they will have and whether or not they will ever go off into the world on their own.  I have to say, it’s a scary thing to look at the statistics, knowing that there is a very very good chance the boys will be living with us (or in some sort of group home situation) for the rest of their lives.  Of course I would rather keep them right here with us forever and ever but that is just me being a protective mom.

So much of what gets thrown into our lives is different as special needs parents and I cling to the things that are “just like everyone else”

When the boys started school at 25 months, there was one thing I was really looking forward to: art projects.

Art (at least at this level) seems to be the great equalizer.  Not many 2 year olds are bringing home much more than a few scribbles on a piece of paper.  I looked forward to the first one, and I look forward to them each week since, even though I am buried in piles of construction paper covered with stickers and finger paint.  Art is something every kid does and for me it is the one thing that I hold on to that makes me feel normal.

My kids have progressed from a few stray lines to hearty scribbles.  Barely touched pages to hand prints and completely covered canvases.  It’s kind of a big deal to see the progression.

When I got the chance to check out the book THE ART of Autism: Shifting Perceptions by Debra Hosseini, I was excited. I was excited to see how kids and adults with autism were using their special perceptions of the world to create art.  What did they see?  What purpose does art serve in their lives?  How did art help them to connect with the community?

By Luna TMG, 2010, Dijon, France

The stories accompanying the artworks are just as thought provoking as the art itself.  Some of the artwork, both written and visual, come from nonverbal autistic persons who use Facilitated Communication.  It just goes to show that lack of verbal ability has nothing to do with cognitive ability, something that we are well aware of in this house!

By Trent Altman, Louisville, Kentucky

I am thoroughly impressed and encouraged by the works I read about in this book.  It makes me take pause and remember that my boys have a lot ahead of them, and although their road might be different from other kids, they can’t be counted out.

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