Monday, July 28, 2008

Book focuses on talents of autistic artists

There is an interesting article by the Washington Times on special talents of children with special needs. The article also discusses the upcoming book that I have posted on a previous blog post. I really enjoy these articles and think more needs to be written and discussed about the talents that exist for many kids on the spectrum.

For once I would love for the autism education experts to not give me a glazed look every time I talk about how talented my sons art is or how he has an incredibly photographic memory. It gets to be really annoying when you know these looks are really just a fake smile suggesting that the person you are talking to is not really supposed to touch upon the cold facts that they believe these are only just splintered skills in certain areas that professionals really do not categorize as talent. They are more like an obsession with colors, shapes, numbers, music, art, memorizing.

But I know, as an artist, that these odd skills and rare abilities need to be enhanced. They are borderline genius in many kids and adults, and it is a shame that many just cannot appreciate the talent for what it is. It is almost as if no one really understands a photographic memory or an innate ability to paint, understand music or numbers. Seems education experts should really rethink how we can better accentuate these talents and use them as tools for more interaction and most of all for self esteem. When I was 8 and realized my artistic talents, I was thrilled. I think educators need to also appreciate this more in kids with specials needs and autism. Maybe part of the problem is we do not fully know how they think, thus we do not know how to help them except in our limited capacity of how we learn.

I also want to add, that it is very unfair for children with special needs. Just because they do not learn like other children should not mean that they are denied respect for their talents. If you have a small child that is "gifted" any parent would give them piano lessons or special tutoring in the area that they excel. We as parents of kids on the spectrum must do the same. Find their talents and let them sparkle and shine! You will be amazed at what they can accomplish when given the opportunities.

Special Deeds Children
Washington Times - Washington,DC,USA
There is something very Paul Gauguin — impenetrable colors and primitive forms — about Kevin Hosseini's oil paintings.

Which is very impressive in and of itself considering that Kevin is only 13 years old. Add to that the fact that he's autistic.

"Gauguin & Me" is an oil painting by Kevin Hosseini, a 13-year-old with autism.

"I've painted for three years. ... It makes me feel good," says the Carpinteria, Calif, resident who is working on a large oil painting with bold blues and greens. "It's an ocean scene," he explains.

Kevin's and about three dozen other young autistic artists' works will be presented in a coffee-table book, "Artism A-New," due out in October (submissions are still accepted through Aug. 15 at

Monday, July 21, 2008

Autism Community: Stop feeding into the hype

Update: Sears has written me back claiming they do not support this radio station and AFLAC has pulled all advertising from the program. Thank you to those that support the Autism Community.Also A Champ reports Home Depot does not support the radio station.

Thank you A - Champ for bringing attention to the recent attack on children and adults with Autism by radio's Michael Savage. Below I have included the information by A-champ.
My only concern is that we need to better undertand the nature of the beast. These people thrive on attention, and the more attention we give it the more it will keep happening. In terms of marketing and promotion bad publicity can be perceived as good publity. So do not go to the links to the network, do not go to the links for the actual telecast. All it means is high hits and attention for the network and the broadcaster. So what do we do. I propose a Black List. Very simple, money talks and BS walks. When we feed into the hype we are just creating and feeding the fire of those that want the attention. Just think, this guy says something insulting and his numbers go off the chart.

BLACK LIST those that do not support the rights of individuals with Autism - Do not buy products from these vendors. Stop listening to the Radio broadcast from Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Radio. And spread this to every person you know. And/ or call to complain. It is very simple. Doing anything indirectly just leads to numbers, weblinks = hits which bring more revenue and advertising dollars. A telephone call and an email do not. Stop buying Home Depot(7/21/08 - does not support the radio station), Sears (7/22/08 - does not support this network), Radioshack, (AFLAC- 7/22/08 - pulled ads from network) and Budweiser. And another embarassing thing for stores is bad publicity. Xerox the copy of the Achamp letter and leave them at every location. This will instantly get attention and may even deter others from purchasing from these locations.

I have removed all links for sites for automated replies, calling to complain is better.

Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Radio
General Phone Number: 212 642 4500
111 Broadway 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10006

Home Depot
(770) 384-4646

Sears Public Relations And Communications
(847) 286-8371

Media Relations_
Riverfront Campus _Mail Stop #CF7-130_300 RadioShack Circle _Fort Worth, TX 76102-1964_
Phone: (817) 415-3300_
Fax: (817) 415-2585_

1-800-99-AFLAC (1-800-992-3522)
Laura Kane, 2nd Vice President External Relations Aflac Incorporated_1-706-596-3493
Mechell Clark_
Media Relations Manager_

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
One Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
1 800 DIAL BUD
(1 800 342 5283)


Talk Radio's Michael Savage Trashes Individuals With Autism / Act Now To Show His Conduct Is Not Acceptable!
Michael Savage Calls Children With Autism "Brats" and Autism a "Scam"

Take Action!
Use the Autism Action Network to Tell Savage's Broadcasters and Sponsors What You Think of Savage and His Offensive Remarks


That's What We Call The Words of Trash Radio Host Michael Savage

(t/n Michael Weiner)

Take Action Against Michael Savage's Remarks!

"Idiot" "brat" "moron"

These are just a few terms Savage used to describe children with Autism on his radio program. He went on to say autism, a lifelong debilitating disorder that leaves many children without the ability to speak and in constant pain, was a "fraud" and a "racket" perpetrated by inept parents.

Do not permit Savage's offensive statements to go unchallenged. Savage and his broadcasting syndicators must be held accountable for his hateful and ignorant tirade. Contact his sponsors and demand that they withdraw their support. Most reasonable people, and most for-profit corporations, do not want to be identified as oppressors of the disabled. Your words will have great impact and will make the choice clear for them.

To Hear Savage's offensive comments for yourself with some helpful commentary that puts him in his place. click link.

Opportunity: Institute on Disability Seeks Artists for its 2009 Calendar

News from the Artists Foundation

Institute on Disability Seeks Artists for its 2009 Calendar

Are you an artist looking for an opportunity to get your work noticed?
Do you know someone who is an artist and might be interested in such an
opportunity? Every year since 2000, the Institute on Disability
(IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has
produced a calendar that features 13 original works of art. These highly
anticipated calendars are distributed to thousands of people around the
world each year who are connected to the IOD’s mission of
strengthening communities and ensuring full access, equal opportunities,
and participation for all persons. The IOD is currently inviting artists
to submit artwork to be considered for its 2009 Calendar.

The theme for the 2009 calendar is reflective of the quote

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922, French novelist and essayist)

If you would like to submit, here are some simple guidelines to

* All artwork must be 2-dimensional (i.e. drawings, paintings).
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept photography and sculpture.
* Artwork for submission may be created for the purpose of this
calendar or may be selected from an existing portfolio of work.
* Artwork should reflect the artist’s interpretation of the Marcel
Proust quote above.
* Artists are encouraged to submit artwork with vibrant colors (see
links to past calendars below).
* Artists are welcome to submit up to three works of art for
* Submissions must include the artist's name, phone number, email
address and title(s) of artwork.
* If chosen, the original work submitted will be requested and will
need to be sent to the IOD. All originals will be returned to the
Here are links if you would like to see a PDF copy of the 2008
and 2007

Digital copies (scanned or photographed artwork) for consideration
should be sent as a JPG or PDF file to
“2009 IOD Calendar Art” in the subject line. Please do not send
original artwork at this time. If you would like to submit a printed
copy of your artwork via snail mail, please mail it to:

Attn. Matthew Gianino
10 West Edge Drive, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824

During the final selection process, the IOD may request the original
artwork for further consideration in some cases. The 13 finalists will
be asked to complete an Artwork Release Form
. Please be sure you are
able to comply with the terms of the release form prior to submitting.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 8th 2008. All artists
whose work is chosen for the 2009 Calendar will be contacted by August

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Opportunity: Submit art to new book for artists with autism

The creators of the book "Artism: Art by Those With Autism!" are seeking new, original artwork to include in the next book in this series titled "Artism Anew." The first book on Artism was the winner of the Global Book Publishing Award. (see article post)

The goal of this book, filled with color artwork by people with autism, is to transform the lives of the readers. The project is being spearheaded by Karen Simmons, the founder of Autism Today and the author of the books "Artism" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children With Special Needs," and will be curated and co-authored by Debbie Hosseini.

Some of the artists who have already agreed to contribute include: Ping Lian Yeak, Jonathan Lerman, Seth Chwast, George Widener, Gregory Blackstock, Amanda LaMunyon, Marcy Deutsch, Temple Grandin and Donna Williams.

If you or someone you know with autism would like to be included in "Artism Anew," please visit www.artismtoday. com for more information. Artwork must be received by Aug. 15. There is no limit to the number of submissions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free Printable Classification Game

Free Printable Classification Game
by Jamie Sue
Free Printable Fun

Autistic children often struggle with classification. Knowing what things go together and understanding under what situations those items go together can often be challenging for autistic children. My son sometimes struggles with this. Recently a visitor named Missy contacted me via the Plugoo widget on this blog to request help in finding a printable that addressed classification.

I looked around, but to be honest, I couldn't find anything. If anyone knows of any good resources I'll be sure to list them. I think part of the problem was not knowing what to search for. I tried "category game" and "classification puzzle" and various combinations involving those words and I even broke down and searched for "things that go together" but I didn't come up with anything printable. I did find a nice board game similar to the one my speach therapist uses named (guess what?) Things That Go Together (looks like they couldn't figure out what to call it either) that was very reasonably priced. Considering how much laminating sheets are it might be worth it just to buy a copy of the game.

In the mean time, here is my version of a classification game:

Classification: things that go together puzzle in PowerPoint
Classification: things that go together puzzle in PDF
Classification: things that go tother classification puzzle high res original images for resizing at home .zip

Thanks to Jamie Sue for this wonderful article about Classification systems and creating fun game. Seems categories are not an easy topic and may be worth collecting more resources for. If you have any suggestions or links please feel free to pass on your information to us and others.

Jax Chachitz

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ideas for travel games for families with an autistic child

I really enjoy the FREE Printable options from the Family Education Website. School's out and summer is here – it's the perfect time for a family vacation. Stop here...

Sometimes I read these passages and wish I could easily just pass it on as an activity for my child to work easily with. This is not so easy a task for kids on the spectrum it takes more work but is so worth every second!. Teach them the simple games, simple skills like these can help in playing games with other children as well as help with back and forth sharing skills. Besides I would rather keep my child's brain running as opposed to just sitting in a car seat staring out the window, not saying a word. Does that sound familiar. Dont sweat the big stuff, if he does not enjoy it, at least you tried and maybe several times are necessary before it sinks in. I also think having a piece of paper and marker in your bag can be a wonderful way to play a simple game to keep your child busy in a pinch. Take the time to teach these and yowill be glad you did.

Print out Family Educations booklet designed for two or more players. Games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Dots, and others will keep your children happily entertained while traveling. Print your booklet or you can print your favorite individual games:
Dots to Boxes
Join Five

I also happened to recently see a game by Melissa and Doug called Hangman. It is a faulous wood board that has all the pieces attached via cords. Its simple and perfect way to challenge a child with a word game and not have to worry about pieces flying everywhere in a car. Brilliant.

jax chachitz