Posts Tagged ‘autism adult’

Matthew de La Tour is a talented artist with autism who has been producing art since he was a child. His technique involves applying molten glue (from a hot glue gun, for instance) to a surface, painting the surface, and peeling off the glue to reveal a work of art that he calls an ‘autistic expression’.

When we asked what motivated him to create, he told us that creating art allows him to channel his emotions into something and overcome the challenges and hostility he faces in life. The world he creates through his art, he explained, is his own–with his own standards.

Matthew wants to share his art and techniques in order to help and inspire other people on the spectrum. To this end, he wrote the following post outlining each step of his method. Stunning photographs of his work are also shown below. 


Step 1. Using a glue gun and mini glue sticks 4″ x .27″ put glue sticks in gun and apply glue to surface- example would be an art canvas.

Step2. Start with drawing shapes- like circles- triangles- and squares to get a feel of how the molten glue moves when you pull the glue gun trigger- remember molten glue will be very hot.

Step 3. Allow the glue to cool to your surface- then using spray paint in a vented area… or acrylic paint- lightly cover the glue on the surface- most paints dries in minutes.

Step 4. After paint is dry- pull the glue gently off the canvas and allow your creation to come forth. You can repeat the process or add more paint. You can gradually start making complex designs and create a technique of your own.

Molten glue can be used to rebind old books and create new covers for those books. Other examples of recommended surfaces are: bottles, picture frames, high-heeled shoes and anything you can imagine. Remember nothing is impossible you have the ability- just imagine.

If you have questions for Matthew, you can reach him at gluedelatour@yahoo.com.

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Having fun with your child with autism is absolutely essential.  It’s a key to your emotional health, and to the relationship you’re building both with your autistic child and with your typically developing children.  Perhaps just as importantly, when you see your child with autism outside of the classroom or therapist’s office, you may just discover that (1) he or she has some talents you never noticed before and (2) your child with autism is actually a lot of fun to be with

Each Sunday in April we’ll featuring a guest post from Lisa Jo Rudy, the author of Get Out, Explore and Have Fun: How Families of Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most out of Community Activities.   She was the the About.com Guide to Autism for five years, and is now an inclusion consultant for community organizations and  museums, a writer for autismafter16.com, and (of course) the mom of Tom Cook, age 15, diagnosed with PDD-NOS.  Find her at www.authenticinclusion.org or at www.lisajorudy.com

Take TV to the Next Level!

Our kids are often sponges, who can learn almost anything by heart if it’s introduced through videos, TV or even music.  At first we were horrified by our son’s echolalia: he’d simply memorize entire scripts from his favorite TV shows, and recite them.  Later, though, we came to embrace certain TV shows and videos: they provided him with the tools he needed to engage with other kids, with the real world, and even with academics.

Like many parents, when our kids were small we allowed only “educational television.”  But kids watch an awful lot of shows on ad-heavy cable TV.  We didn’t want either of our kids getting seduced by ads, but even more particularly we didn’t want our son wandering around reciting ads for pop-tarts.  So we started borrowing videos and DVDs of kids’ shows from our library.  We could choose our time to watch together – and avoid the ads completely.

If you have a child who is mesmerized by TV, you may have started to use TV as an opportunity to get away for a little while.  Instead, try this:

  • Choose a TV show that your child really likes, and purchase a few toys (action figures, die-cast figures, etc.) that relate to the show.  Don’t worry too much if your child is “too old” for the show: grown ups still love the Muppets, and even grandparents love Disney
  • Choose a time to watch together, and talk about the show as you watch.  Ask your child questions; if he doesn’t reply instantly, try saying outrageous things that he knows are wrong (eg, Big Bird is purple with green stripes, isn’t he?).  Your child’s connection with and love of the show and characters may well prompt him to interact with you in new ways
  • Once the show is over, try using your new toys as puppets, acting out bits from the show.  Or use them in interactive play (Thomas the Tank Engine is ideal for this, since model train layouts are fabulous tools for sharing, creative thinking, role play, etc.)

You may find that your child is more verbally responsive to Thomas the Tank Engine or Elmo than he is to other human beings – or more fascinated by the tracks than by the people playing with them.  If that’s the case, you can build on that in the real world!  Your child might love attending puppet shows or going to TV-show oriented events (a Wiggles concert could be an ideal introduction to concerts and plays, even if your child is “too old” for the Wiggles).

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IMFAR Stakeholder Travel Awards Will Support Parents, Siblings, Individuals with Autism & Graduate Students

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2012 IMFAR Travel Grants.   ASF will make 12 awards to autism stakeholders to cover expenses related to attending the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Toronto, Canada in May 2012. After the conference, grant recipients will share what they have learned with families in their local communities or online.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Catherine Blackwell – Sibling
  • Debra Dunn – Parent, Center for Autism Research at CHOP
  • Eric Hogan Self Identified Individual with Autism
  • Eshan Hoque – PhD Candidate, MIT
  • Kadi Lichsinger – Parent
  • Marjorie Madfis – Parent
  • Jon Shestack – Parent, Founder of Cure Autism Now
  • Mark Shen – PhD Candidate, UC Davis MIND Institute
  • Melissa Shimek Self Identified Individual with Autism
  • Meghan Swanson – PhD Candidate, Hunter College/City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Meagan Thompson – PhD Candidate, Boston University
  • Emily Willingham – Parent , Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism Blog

IMFAR is an annual scientific meeting, convened each spring, to share the latest scientific findings in autism research and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for autism spectrum disorders. IMFAR is the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

“We are delighted to bring so many autism stakeholders to IMFAR so they can share their real world  experience with scientists,” said Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation. “Our travel grant program has become more and more popular over the past three years and we are thrilled to be able to increase the number of awards offered this year.”

The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) is a scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism spectrum disorders. Founded in 2001, INSAR runs the annual scientific meeting – the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR)– and publishes the research journal “Autism Research.”

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Extraordinary Ventures is a North Carolina-based nonprofit that provides employment and social opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Recently, the Autism Science Foundation ordered holiday oatmeal jars from EV that helped to employ 4 adults with autism over a span of 14 days. We invited Van Hatchell, Director of Marketing and Communications at Extraordinary Ventures, to write a guest post about the important services Extraordinary Ventures contributes to the ASD community.

Ewan, an adult with autism, is an employee at EV Gifts

Ewan, 23, graduated from Chapel Hill High School and immediately faced the daunting task of finding employment in our country’s tough job market. Like all recent grads, Ewan was forced to deal with the uncertainty of employment. But Ewan is no ordinary high school grad. Ewan has Autism.

For 17 year, Ewan benefited from the structure of the special education classrooms of Chapel Hill City School.  Once he graduated, his family realized there was nothing else Ewan was entitled to. He would face the job search like his peers – while bearing the extra burden of his developmental disability.

Ewan volunteered at the University Library, making copies and completing small tasks. His family hoped the library would see the value that Ewan added to their daily work environment and agree to hire him. Months passed with no success.

Then he heard of Extraordinary Ventures, a nonprofit that was exclusively interviewing adults with developmental disabilities. Ewan was hired.

In response to the increasing population of autistic adults, a group of parents in Chapel Hill took charge by taking a non-traditional approach. They set out to start an organization that would start small businesses to employ adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Extraordinary Ventures was born.


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