Matthew de La Tour Shares His Autistic Expressions

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

IACC Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Released

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and Office of Autism Research Coordination are pleased to announce that the 2009 IACC Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research was released and posted to the IACC website today in conjunction with the United Nations designated “World Autism Awareness Day” and the Department of Health and Human Services celebration of “National Autism Awareness Month.”  The 2009 IACC Summary of Advances is a collection of brief summaries of the twenty research articles that the IACC felt made the most significant contributions to autism biomedical and services research in 2009.

More Autism Research Funding Should Target Adults

By Liane Kupferberg Carter

Here’s the question lately that keeps me up nights: what happens to kids with autism when they’re  not cute and little anymore?

Most of the current funding into autism research and intervention is aimed at the youngest children.  But besides the obvious argument – that it is critical to intervene when they’re young because you get more bang for the buck  – it’s also a fact that it’s a lot easier to raise money for a disorder when you can  feature the face of an adorable toddler.

Most of the conferences I’ve attended and articles I’ve read  focus on autism as a childhood disorder.  The preponderance of  cognitive and emotional development studies look at children.  When they do focus on older children, it often seems the emphasis is skewed to children at the “higher” end of the spectrum.  As the parent of a moderately functioning teenager with autism, I’ve been wondering lately about the subtext behind all these studies and workshops. Is there an unspoken assumption that those at the more moderate or  lower functioning end of the spectrum aren’t worth it, that  they are just too far gone to help?

But if you accept the statistic that 1 in 150 children in this country have autism, we are looking at a staggering number of rapidly aging young adults who are going to require life long services and supports.  According to the Autism Society of America , in the next decade we can expect four million people to be diagnosed with autism.  All those young adults will be vying for the same woefully insufficient adult services. Yes, the state runs programs, but the waiting lists are long, and depend on the  vagaries of the state budget. Times are tough; dollars and resources scarce.

We need far more research and  financing directed at the programmatic needs of adults with autism.  That means better targeted studies looking at best practices, interventions and educational protocols for teens and young adults with autism.

We are facing an autism tsunami, and the first wave  is aging up and out of the school service model quickly. Once the structure and socialization of school ends, and that little yellow school bus stops coming to the door, it is completely up to each family to figure out what to do next.

It’s keeping a lot of us up nights.


Liane Kupferberg Carter is the captain of Team Scarsdale C.H.I.L.D., the nation’s top fund raising walk team for Autism Speaks. Her work has appeared in the New York Times syndication, Parents, Child, McCall’s, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Newsday, and numerous literary journals. She is a 2009 Memoir Journal prize winner for “Love is Like This,” an essay on mothering a son with autism.  She is currently working on a memoir, Making Music Anyway: Raising a Child with Autism.

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