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ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin

November 27, 2012 



From the Editor:

Welcome to another edition of the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin. Our offering this issue is a bit non-traditional, as we break from the format of written articles to feature artists with autism from a wide variety of disciplines. As you journey through each artist's story, you will be encouraged to view brilliant images, listen to audio samples of music, watch clips of performances and follow links to a variety of content for each artist...hopefully noticing along the way that the artists' "perspectives" on their art are as diverse as the art itself. Some use art to directly express their autism neurology. Others merely are expressing an artistic impulse on the canvas, page, keyboard, stage or screen. The point with all art is that there are no rules, no predetermined formulas or boundaries. We hope you enjoy this issue as we celebrate those whose creations gracefully push aside those rules and boundaries!

Andrew Nelson
Assistant Editor 
* * *    FEATURED ARTISTS    * * *    
The Arts
and Transitioning to Adulthood:
Making It Possible
by Elaine Hall 


"It's impossible to do what you are saying you want to do," replied a grantor four years ago when I requested funds for another season of The Miracle Project, a transformational theater arts program that I created for individuals with autism and their typically developing siblings and peers. I had proposed a 5-month workshop for those of all abilities, teaching music, movement, theater and film, which would culminate in a live, original musical. My ambitious application claimed that the program would be fully inclusive and that there would be a positive, uplifting parent component in which everyone would be part of a dynamic, creative community.


To read the entire article, click here.

Larry Bissonette, painter

Larry Bissonnette is an advocate and artist who lives in Milton, Vermont and has had his work regularly exhibited both locally and nationally. His work is in the permanent collection of the Musée de l'Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland and in many private collections. His work was most recently featured in a 2011 exhibit entitled "Unheard Voices" at the SEABA Center Gallery in Burlington, Vermont. He is both the subject and writer of an award winning film about his life called My Classic Life as an Artist: A Portrait of Larry Bissonnette (2005). Most recently, he was featured in Wretches and Jabberers (2010), a feature length documentary about adults with autism.

Applying to park takes leasing a car. Applying to paint only requires imagination. (2009)

Larry's Artist's Statement

My art is not looking to make a statement about my autism - working to overcome the limitations of my disability through art.

Lost in forming conceptions about my art is the matter of creative impulse which speaks out as powerful strokes on the paint canvas, linking color and texture into a production of offbeat images, pleasing to the eyes of outsider art fans.

Going to see my art involves leaving your lively imaginations of post-impressionism works at the door of the art gallery and looking at my paintings like you would a child's. Awestruck stories about the individual triumphing over the adversity of autism need to be lessened in favor of practicing art as the promotion of creative self-expression across all levels of, open to art, ability.

Your coming to see my art should be your potentially life changing wake-up call to do art, and not just make missing-the-point conversation about art over wine and orders of fancy meat-filled pastry and cheese. Let's save those snacks for celebrating your doing-of-art and sharing it with others.

Bird would violate airplane dapper standards for appearance but
the skies sport "vivider dayglo" colors when it can fly freely and uncensored by mankind. (1998)

To view more examples of Larry's painting, click here.
Robert S. Lagos, pianist


Rob is a resident of Yarmouth, Maine. He graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree, has a keen interest in mathematics and works in computer programming. However, he also majored in music. He has studied and performed classical music seriously as a pianist since his youth.


To listen to the following brief program of performances by Rob, including an original piece, click here.


Chopin Etude Opus 25 #1
Chopin Etude Opus 25 #3
Lagos Sound Dance Collage 1
Weber Moto Perpetuo - arranged by R. Lagos
Scott Joplin - The Entertainer

Judy Endow, artist

Judy Endow, MSW is an author and international speaker on a variety of autism-related topics, is part of the Wisconsin DPI Statewide Autism Training Team and a board member of both the Autism Society of America, Wisconsin Chapter and the Autism National Committee. In addition, Judy is a member of the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI). In her spare time, Judy enjoys expressing her thoughts and ideas by creating one-of-a-kind hand-built pottery sculptures and painting with acrylics.


Excerpts from Judy's website:


My thinking is in pictures and colors. Always I have a front row seat to watch the show!  Each color, with its infinite variety of hues and brightness, has its own movement patterns and sound combinations. My thought process involves moving the sounds and pictures of color combinations on the screen in my mind until the picture is as beautiful as it can get. Then I interpret into words if I need to communicate with people. Painting allows me to show my thoughts without the burden of constant translation.




(Some) paintings illustrate what I call fractured vision. Sometimes my autistic neurology delivers images I see as if they were cut into pieces. Most often the "fractures" occur along straight lines, but sometimes the "fractures" cause what I am looking at to appear so jumbled that it is difficult to make sense of what I am seeing.


Click here to hear an interview with Judy from the New York Times' series Patient Voices: Autism.

Steven Anthony George, poet

Steven Anthony George is a poet and playwright who finds inspiration largely from historical events, visual art and film. His work has appeared in Angelic Dynamo, Apollo's Lyre, and Eclectic Flash, which chose his short story Richard III is Dead? Really? for its annual "Best Of" issue in 2010. His short plays Neurotic Medieval Custom and The Burning of Mary were presented as part the New Mystics Arts Center's Emerging Playwrights Series in October 2011. He also has contributed work to the Lotus Effects Art and Culture web page. Steven is active in the autism and Asperger community and spoke on the topic of self-advocacy for the 2011 Association for Positive Behavior Support Conference in Summersville, WV.
Steven's Perspective on Poetry

What is poetry? Poetry can be anything from a note on the refrigerator in the style of William Carlos Williams to dramatic epics like Paradise Lost...poetry has a level of freedom because it can be about anything. If you hate dotting every "i" or crossing every "t" and knowing where to put periods and capitalization, if those things bother you, then you should write poetry.

Poetry is speaking emotionally rather than intellectually...although if you can get your heart and your head to work together it comes out even better...poetry is universal language.

Please take a moment to watch and listen to Steven as he reads a handful of his original poems by clicking this link:


Dani Bowman, animator


Dani Bowman is a 17-year old junior in high school with autism and a love of animation and illustration. Dani founded Power Light Studios at age 11. She has worked professionally since age 14 - illustrating 4 books, animating for Joey Travolta and teaching animation to others with autism at his summer camp program. Dani also speaks frequently about autism, speaking out against bullying, and mentors several autistic animators. She has received the New Horizon's Temple Grandin Award, was honored by the Golden Goody Awards for her autism advocacy and anti-bullying campaigns, and has screened her animated shorts Mr. Raindrop and The Namazu at ComicCon.


My goal is to change the world's perception of autism and show the potential that autistic individuals like me have.


View examples of Dani's work at:

Believe It: The Dani Bowman Story 

Nazamu Print

The Namazu Trailer

Mr. Raindrop Trailer

Power Light Animation Reel


To learn more about Dani and her work, go to
  * * * *    STUDIO WORKS    * * * * 

Kyle E. Fogg, author


Kyle is a 20-year old resident of Searsmont, Maine. He is a second year part-time college student working toward a degree in physics with minors in mathematics and astronomy. He is a first-time author but currently is writing two new books, a sequel to his first novel and the first story in a potential six-book series called The Dreivos Chronicles. He looks forward to completing his degree, continuing to write and having a family of his own.


The following is a snippet from his self-published, self-edited first book, The Galactic Space Battle: The Fate of the Earth is in Jeopardy!


Ships log, it is May 16th in the year 3125 C.E Captain James Lawrence Reynaldo of the Diabound in command. Upon entering the outermost section located within the Xeta-Sigma sector that lies on the fringe of the Delta Quadrant.


My crew, along with the crew of the Darkflare under the command of my most trusted companion Captain Kadar Xavier Dregonis (heir to the Saurian throne), are on a priority mission in which we've been asked to rendezvous with the flagship of the Volkanican society, Valkyrie. The Volkanican's were admitted as members of the Galactic Federation following the conclusion to a successful first contact that occurred 8 months ago.


Our mission is to exchange a large shipment of both Zeta-Enerdy and Xenolithium-Theta crystals (both are the main regulators is providing the required energy needed for our fleet to achieve Senodo speeds.) for the prototype of a gravity displacement grid, a device that my superiors have hoped would be the answer to enabling our fleet to safely enter black holes, which would allow teams of scientists to start on a new journey of dimensional exploration, our attempts to craft such a device have proven futile with the tragic loss of the Renjorskon.


But before this task could be completed, I was ordered to do another.


To read the rest of the excerpt or hear a reading of the excerpt by Kyle, click here. The book is available at

Tyler Bell, painter


Since he was a young child, artist Tyler Bell has been visually oriented. Painting provides Tyler, a 19-year-old man living with autism, a remarkable level of engagement and peace. Through his paintings, Tyler communicates his unique perspective and shares his joy; helping us to remember that not speaking is not the same as having nothing to say.


Harley Davidson Motorcycle



Purple Flowers

To see other examples of Tyler's painting and learn more about Tyler and his work, go to 
CarolAnn Edscorn, theatre artist  

CarolAnn Edscorn reaches
DE Edscorn Photography
across her varied history to create presentations about life with autism filled with personal anecdotes, current research and educational applications. She blends her Theater BFA in Acting and Directing with a Health and Education Public Policy Analysis MS as well as a graduate certificate in autism to impart insights and knowledge. She has presented How Theater Saved my Life: surviving high school and beyond, featuring theater skills for social pragmatics. She is now sharing Bullying: The New Musical-the relationship libretto for solving dilemmas.
Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 1995 at the age of 42, it was 10 years before she embraced the courage she needs to go out and communicate about her life. She brings passion and humor to her presentations which help teachers to understand their students, and parents to engage their children with confidence. She is married to Christopher (30 years to a neuro-typical!), with five children, two on the spectrum, and lives in southern NH.
Connect with CarolAnn at or on Face Book, Twitter and her creative writing site:

Nina's Music


Nina is an adult with autism who does not speak, has lived with extreme anxiety that prevented her from experiencing new things and even led to her hurting herself, and has a love of music. Through the experience of sound therapy, she has decreased her need for medication to relieve her anxiety and expanded her participation in home and community life. The sound therapy combines weekly sessions with a musician/soundworker with recorded content matched to activities of daily life (i.e. eating, walking, transitions), designed to create routine around activities, and intended for relaxation. Specific tones, harmonies and rhythms have been paired to events in ways that support routine and provide supportive neural input.


Learn how musician and soundworker Cori Barger uses his skills to support Nina in this YouTube video. 

Book Release: The Art of Autism

Debra Hosseini has created a compilation of artwork from some of the most unique and evocative artists on the autism spectrum in her recent release The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions. The book features 77 artists from around the globe and has been described as:


"...much more than an art book, this book has stories of overcoming challenges, inspiration, and hope."


Click here to learn more about The Art of Autism publication.

Sensory Friendly "Live" Theatre 

Major theatrical venues are now following the lead of the successful Sensory Friendly Film movement by offering live theatre performances designed to be more sensory friendly. Environmental adaptations to the experience are now making it easier for audiences with sensory challenges to enjoy a night out at the theatre. 
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for example, has begun listing dates and times of a wide variety of sensory friendly offerings for theatre goers.

To view the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts sensory friendly calendar and learn more about how live theatre adaptations are making accessibility a reality, click here.
KindTree: Autism Rocks

KindTree: Autism Rocks has been a leader in offering opportunities for artists with autism since 1997. KindTree's activities range from art shows and camps to the KindTree - Autism Rocks Artist Guild, which gives any artist with autism a home to share his/her art.

To learn more about the KindTree - Autism Rocks Artist Guild, please click here . 

To view a calendar of events for KindTree - Autism Rocks, please click here .

Volume 9   


"Reaching out, 

teaching from life experience."   
In This Issue
The Arts and Transitioning to Adulthood: Making It Possible
Larry Bissonette, painter
Robert S. Lagos, pianist
Judy Endow, artist
Steven Anthony George, poet
Dani Bowman, animator
Kyle E. Fogg, author
Tyler Bell, painter
CarolAnn Edscorn, theatre artist
Nina's Music
Book Release: The Art of Autism
Sensory Friendly "Live" Theatre
KindTree: Autism Rocks


The ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin

Editorial Staff



Val profile


Valerie Paradiz, PhD


ARI Director of Special Projects  

Director of the Autistic Global Initiative





 Janine M. Collins, MTS, MSW

with Emma 

Managing Editor

Participant in the Autistic Global Initiative 




  andrew headshot republican  


Andrew Nelson 

Assistant Editor





We Want to Hear From You!   


If you would like to submit an article or a letter to the editor to be considered for publication in the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin, please email us for submission guidelines at 


Your feedback and ideas mean a lot to us, as we endeavor to provide you with a balanced resource on the latest events, news and research that concerns adults with autism spectrum condition sand those who

support them.



 Autistic Global Initiative



To be an agent for assumption-free inclusion of people with autism, providing advisory and consulting services to the Autism Research Institute and other organizations both nationally and globally.



We balance the work of reaching out for our own needs with the work of educating others, thereby expanding awareness about adult concerns. This work builds bridges among service providers, families and individuals within the autism community. We embrace the diverse perspectives of one another, while incorporating participation across varied modes of expression. In this way, the Autistic Global Initiative serves as a model of the inclusion for which we advocate.  



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