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Autism Awareness Antics

As another April winds down and all of the amped up Autism awareness antics die down we MAY resume our normal lives.

 

There was a time when I believed that “awareness” was a worthy cause. It quickly became very clear however, that what I considered Autism awareness was very different than the ribbons and gaudy puzzle piece fanfare streaming on line and in the world. In 2010 our idea was to provide useful awareness. Information that children and adults could naturally utilize in every day life upon meeting or trying to make an Autistic friend. Not just a shallow icon or blue light directing you to empty “Autism awareness.” Not silly campaigns that do little else than exploit people as puzzles and point to Autism. As if we still need to ‘spotlight’ that Autism exists once a year. (?) Everyone is aware that Autism is in the world. What everyone may believe about Autism and what Autistic people experience or don’t experience…  is where the awareness has gone all kinds of wrong.
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Awareness as cheerleading. Rah Rah Rah instead of A~HA HA!

 

That is exactly what we saw early on in our on-line activity. A lot of color and enthusiasm with very little to ZERO useful information. Looking at puzzle pcs emblazoned onto every item imaginable does absolutely nothing to help my son navigate the world. More importantly it does nothing to help the world “navigate my son.” This black-hole of useful knowledge was precisely why we wanted to create informative art in relation to the Autistic cause. Using art as a vehicle for information is what AutismHWY is really all about and why we were in fact imagined and created. Meeting the Autistic community enhanced and expanded what we were  universally feeling!

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Partnering with actually Autistic people has empowered us and has strengthened our mission beyond belief. Listening to the Autistic voice is the platform we stand on and build upon. There is NO AUTISM AWARENESS with out information provided by actually Autistic people. The city of Covina has heard that authentic truth and has generously supported that amplification by partnering with us and helping us produce our annual CHALK FESTIVAL. That is  what ACCEPTANCE and platform building look like. Not blue light shining and ribbon waving empty awareness campaigns driven by folks raising money while excluding Autistic architects and partners.

 

 

We NEED society to understand that the parents of Autistic people are really NOT the one’s that should be driving Autism Awareness. Many parents are stuck in that ‘main stream societal rut’ filled with misinformation which non-Autistic experts have delivered to us, concerning all things Autism. It’s time to LISTEN to Autistic people.

 

On MAY DAY 2017 AutismHWY continues our call for ALL parents and professionals to “gather” their awareness from Autistic people and to AMPLIFY their very valid and crucial VOICES. This is what will prove vital for the future generations of Autistic people …to be authentically welcomed into the world.

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It’s Amazing What a Day can Change…

Every year just keeps getting BETTER!

NEW Chalk Festival Logo dateless w red butterfly

This year’s event video by Manuel Valenzuela features the heART and soul of our event. Our hat’s are off to ALL of our participants. ALL of you that breathe life into this wonderful CHALK FESTIVAL each and every April here in Downtown Covina. Thankyou…

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Take a bow, you are all BEYOND amazing! SEE YOU next year! April 14th 2018…4+14=18!!

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7th Year for the AutismHWY Chalk Festival!!

Leading up to this year’s fantastic 7th event everyone was itching to get down on the ground with sweet mother Earth and pour our colorful, artful souls directly into her. Bringing out a concept, a smile, a masterpiece re-imagined and often times a beautiful moment lost in time. A temporary art form meant to touch those we love and those we want to love. THAT is precisely what defines a Chalk festival!!

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It is at the essence of our soul to express and share the love contained within us; no matter who we are, where we came from or how we got here! Chalk Art Festivals bring out the best in everyone. A beautiful free expression natural fit for life-long community alignments. Thank you to the City of Covina for getting that and implementing it in a BIG way each and every year! Allowing us all to bond and connect through the arts every April!

 

IMG_3166 After our stellar 2016 Naturally Autistic People Award nomination and trip to the ANCA World Autism Festival in Canada things have really expanded. Placing our homegrown event on to the WORLDWIDE STAGE! Sharing what we do here in Covina is inspiring to the world. Moving young artists TO life-long artists trying out a brand NEW chalk-art medium. Traveling from other states and countries to connect here in Southern California! Successfully bringing it all together for acceptance every year: Autistic, Nautistic…young and old! So much fun sharing similarities and difference…ARTFULLY all tied together by community!  Thank you wholeheartedly to our partners the beautiful City of Covina, Covina Parks and Recreation, Autism Spectrum Athletics and our Canadian friends ANCA Naturally Autistic. To all of our fabulous sponsors and participants…you are amazing and you support amazing!

Lori Antoinette of LANT ART keeps the eye on heART!
Lori Antoinette of LAnt ART always keeps the eye on heART!
Stacy Nalapraya coloring ACCEPTANCE on her Autistic Pride Design winner!

Stacy Nalapraya coloring in ACCEPTANCE on her Autistic Pride Design winner!

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Daniela Jaime's beautiful ode to a favorite game...

Daniela Jaime’s beautiful ode to a favorite game…

“Ive always thought they were lighthouses , billions of lighthouses stuck at the far end of the sky.”

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So many personal stories at this event…at ALL events, really. William Zin did the AutismHWY a solid by bringing Annette Stanton Harkness to the festival this year. So beautiful, many thanks Willie.

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Annette xo
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IMG_3274 Thanks again Willie for bringing Annette to the show and making her the BEST! Miss Nettie Best of Show 2017

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Carissa Paccerelli chalked up her 3rd Autistic Pride Design Award!!

Carissa Paccerelli chalked up her 3rd Autistic Pride Design Award!!

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So FUN to see the talent our participants bring to the table, I mean festival… ANCA Naturally Autistic award winner and world ambassador Carissa Paccerelli (5th time CF participaht) has truly become a premiere artist!! Thanks for what you always contribute Carissa!
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Chalk Girl Lysa Ashley helps AutismHWY explain our LOGO metamorphosis!

Chalk Girl Lysa Ashley helps AutismHWY explain our LOGO metamorphosis!

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Thankyou Lysa Ashley for sharing our logo transformation in chalk at the 2017 event and winning BEST use of color in that process! We love your design and title, “Breaking Free”…

 

 

Maryellen Szper trying out the chalk art medium!

Maryellen Szper trying out the chalk art medium!

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MaryEllen Szper from Flying frog.com traveled here from Cedar Key Florida to “Be the Light”… she was and she won Best use of color while doing so!!

KING Jeremy of JJ Jewelers and Paula from our favorite: SCOOTER'S ITALIAN ICE!

KING Jeremy of JJ Jewelers and Paula from our favorite: SCOOTER’S ITALIAN ICE!

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Francois Lariviere really CHALKS iconic. Wow, Temple Grandin FINALLY made it to our show! Thankyou Frenchy for bringing her HERE!!

Jason Ingalsby defining his colorwork!

Jason Ingalsby defining his colorwork!

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Kids Crafts...coloring in the masks designed by MaryEllen Szper from Flying Frog.com !!

Kids Crafts…coloring in the masks designed by MaryEllen Szper from Flying Frog.com !!

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Randall Williams chalks up beauty!! His specialty! TY Randall!

Randall Williams chalks up beauty!! His specialty! TY Randall!

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Roman Castro...in the ZONE!

Roman Castro…in the ZONE!

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PaperBag Comic laying down her messaging artfully!

PaperBag Comic laying down her messaging artfully!

ANCA World Ambassadors, Phoebe Murer, Elizabeth Pritchard and Carissa Paccerelli!

ANCA World Ambassadors, Phoebe Murer, Elizabeth Pritchard and Carissa Paccerelli!

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Raul Munoz, Leanne Libas and KING Jeremy B!

Raul Munoz, Leanne Libas and KING Jeremy B!

Phoebe Murer chalking up the signs of our time!

Phoebe Murer chalking up the signs of our time!

Susan Sheller and Mark T. making beautiful music as always!!

Susan Sheller and Mark T. making beautiful music as always!!

Joel Anderson always shows UP!

Joel Anderson always shows UP!

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Thank YOU Faith for bringing your talent to the 2017 Festival!

Thank YOU Faith for bringing your talent to the 2017 Festival!

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Gus Moran uber talented and completely comical! Wins the most comical design in the PRO category!!

Gus Moran uber talented and completely comical! Wins the most comical design in the PRO category!!

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Joel Anderson receives his 2016 ANCA Naturally Autistic Award presented by Elizabeth Pritchard!

Joel Anderson receives his 2016 ANCA Naturally Autistic Award presented by Elizabeth Pritchard!

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So much CONNECTION between New friends and old… Thank YOU to ALL… that just showed up!

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Metamorphosis

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We are super happy about this. In 2009 when we created the AutismHWY.com logo I didn’t know any Autistic people aside from my son Wyatt. When I placed a red puzzle pc.on it I ‘assumed something.’ I assumed that it “represented Autism.”
Coming on line and meeting the vast array of Autistic friends that we have, has become our lives most amazing surprise and INDEED a very cool inner~standing leading to an important ’Metamorphosis.’
Looking deeper into humanity and really examining the ways in which certain subgroups of people are treated/oppressed/labeled by certain other sub-groups of people is the most important thing that has ever happened on our AutismHWY journey. Actively fighting to dismantle this type of hidden and overt EVERYDAY hate has opened our eyes WIDE.
Meeting people able to describe Autism from the inside out has been the most beautiful enlightenment we could ever have hoped for. Here are a few important voices among countless others just waiting for you to explore!

We all play a part!

Autistic people never chose the puzzle piece for themselves. Other people chose that for them without them. It really never was their symbol. Their lives make perfect Autistic sense to them. It is the information we need to support them where they are and where they are going. If we do not give them the power to teach the world about REAL AUTISM… we will continue down the path of FAKE AUTISM NEWS
Listen to the voices of people that understand just how effectively hate and fear has been used against them to deny them a say in their own lives…because it’s happening all around us. Respect the voices that tell you about the harm they experience from the world’s lack of inside Autism knowledge.

REMEDY that by UNPUZZLING AUTISM naturally!

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