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contents 1. What is Autism? 2. Autism Awareness Test 3. How Visual Art Can Help? 4. Autistic Savant Story 5. Useful Sources

Some children with autism may develop an obsession with toys or objects.


what is autism?

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The Story Behind it Before approaching my thesis project and coming up with ideas for the topic I decided to talk to one very influential person in my life, who had been my mentor since high school years. I emailed my friend Eddie to find out how he had been and to share my ideas regarding choosing topic for my thesis project. His reply struck me and left speechless, when I found out that his little girl Madison had been diagnosed with Autism. After days of research and thoughts on how I could be supportive to someone who’d been so kind and encouraging to me – I decided to look no further for my topic for thesis project and dedicate my research and design to help bring awareness of autism, support families and friends of autistic people, and raise funds for autism research.


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What is Autism?

One of the key symptoms of the autism can be a decreased eye-contact.


Children With Autism Though there is no single known cause or cure, autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow� autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention can lead to significantly improved outcomes. With the right services and supports, people with autism can live full, healthy and meaningful lives. The demands of raising a child with autism are great, and families frequently experience high levels of stress. Recognizing and preparing yourself for the challenges that are in store will make a tremendous difference to all involved, including parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, and friends. The uniqueness of each individual with autism makes the experience of raising a child with autism different for each family. But there are some consistent themes or issues that most families will want to be aware of to be able to provide the best support to the individual and to family members.

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The Autism Society has developed in-depth information on a variety of topics related to living with autism. The information below is by no means exhaustive, but it should help to equip families with some of the basic tools they may need to successfully raise a child on the autism spectrum. Discovering that your child has an autism spectrum disorder can be an overwhelming experience. For some, the diagnosis may come as a complete surprise; others may have had suspicions and tried for months or years to get an accurate diagnosis. In either case, a diagnosis brings a multitude of questions about how to proceed. A generation ago, many people with autism were placed in institutions. Professionals were less educated about autism than they are today and specific services and supports were largely non-existent. Today the picture is much clearer. With appropriate services and supports, training, and information, children on the autism spectrum will grow, learn and flourish, even if at a different developmental rate than others. While there is no known cure for autism, there are treatment and education approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with the condition. Intervention may help to lessen disruptive behaviors, and education can teach self-help skills that identifies individuals with ASD, there is no single treatment that will be effective for all people on the spectrum. Individuals can learn to function within the

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confines of ASD and use the positive aspects of their condition to their benefit, but treatment must begin as early as possible and be tailored to the child’s unique strengths, weaknesses and needs. The professionals have been confounded by conflicting messages regarding what are and what are not appropriate treatment approaches for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today. Currently, the Autism Society estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, in addition to related therapeutic services and caregiver costs).


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TITLE OF THE ARTICLE Before approaching my thesis project and coming up with ideas for the topic I decided to talk to one very influential person in my life, who had been my mentor since high school years. I emailed my friend Eddie to find out how he had been and to share my ideas regarding choosing topic for my thesis project. His reply struck me and left speechless, when I found out that his little girl Madison had been diagnosed with Autism. After days of research and thoughts on how I could be supportive to someone who’d been so kind and encouraging to me – I decided to look no further for my topic for thesis project and dedicate my research and design to help bring awareness of autism, support families and friends of autistic people, and raise funds for autism research.


autism awareness test

Some kids with autism prefer to play by themselves without a company.


How Aware Are You? For some of us Autism it’s just a smart word from a dictionary, for others it is an everyday struggle. The main goal of this survey is to determine level of autism awareness, and get people motivated to provide help and support for families with autistic children. As this disorder still remains unsolved puzzle, there are quite a few characteristics that had been discovered for the past decades, such as autistic social behavior, which can be categorized into three groups. I want to concentrate on this aspect, as it will help to develope a better understanding of how to socialize with autistic children, and help them raise their level of communications. Please fill out the survey below by circling your answers.

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what is autism?

What do we w 2 kno about 3 autism? 1

Did you know that 1 out of 9 children in the U.S.A. is born with some form of autism?

yes

no

Did you know that there is a possibility of an autistic child to have a higher IQ level than a regular kid?

yes

no

yes

no

To your knowledge, is there a cure for Autism?

4

What do you think could be a possible cause of autism?

a. Unknown b. Vaccines c. Genetics d. Atypical brain development

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Could a self-injurious behavior be a sign of autism?

yes

no

Did you know that children who are socially indifferent have high level of a chemical in their neurological system that is responsible for pleasure received from socializing, therefore communicating isn’t of importanceto them?

yes

no


9

Many autistic children have extraordinary abilities: with the right support, emphasis, and persistence it can be turned into a necessary skill for a future employment when child grows up. Would you invest your time in helping autistic child exploring and expanding their knowledge about art, music, science, etc?

10

yes

no

At times, we face life-changing choices. However some people wit autism can not make sound decisions. Would you responsibly make a decision for them?

yes

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no

Would you agree that in some cases art therapy could help improve autistic childrens’ conditions?

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yes

no

Would you buy or use a product that financially supports autism research?

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yes

no

Would you like to be more informed about autism and similar disorders?

yes

no


71%

of survey participants believe that the cause for autism could be an atypical brain development.


66%

of survey participants say they would buy and use products which support autism research fund


how visual art c an help?

A loud noise may become a trigger for an abnormal behavior, as autistic kids are sensetive to sounds.


Shape and Color Relationship A ccording to color theory color wheel is based on a circle that joins the ends of the spectrum and is helpful as a guide to mixing colors. There are many possible color wheel configurations. Traditional color wheels use three primary colors: red, yellow and blue (the first or starting colors used to mix the wheel). Between them are shown the secondary colors: orange, green and purple (colors made by mixing the primary colors). The red, yellow and blue color wheel is mostly useful as a conceptual model for color since the relationships are easy to see. This system is easy to understand and has been used for years* to teach color relationships. It does, however, fail to accurately depict color relationships and does not show the relationship between the additive and subtractive color theories. It also does not work well to mix all of the colors of the spectrum. Francios d’Aguilon declared in 1613 that red, yellow and blue were primary colors and when mixed with black and white could produce all colors. Maybe that was true in 1613.

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Color Theory and Autism As it true of the three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, the three fundamental shapes – square, triangle, and circle – may be assigned distinct expressive values. The square, whose essence is two horizontal and two vertical intersecting lines of equal length, symbolizes matter, gravity, and sharp limitation. The Egyptian hieroglyph for “field” is a square. A marked tension is felt when the straight sides and right angles of the square are drawn and experienced as motion. All Shapes characterized by horizontals and verticals may be assimilated to square form, including the cross, the rectangle, the Greek key, and their derivatives. The square corresponds to red, the color of matter. The weight and opacity of red agree with the static and grave shape of the square. The triangle owes its nature to three intersecting diagonals. Its acute angles produce an effect of pugnacity and aggression. The triangle assimilates all shapes of diagonal character, such as rhombus, trapezoid,

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zig-zag, and their derivatives. It is the symbol of As it true of the three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, the three fundamental shapes – square, triangle, and circle – may be assigned distinct expressive values. The square, whose essence is two horizontal and two vertical intersecting lines of equal length, symbolizes matter, gravity, and sharp limitation. The Egyptian hieroglyph for “field” is a square. A marked tension is felt when the straight sides and right angles of the square are drawn and experienced as motion. All Shapes characterized by horizontals and verticals may be assimilated to square form, including the cross, the rectangle, the Greek key, and their derivatives. The square correspond=s to red, the color of matter. The weight and opacity of red agree with the static and grave shape of the square. The triangle owes its nature to three intersecting diagonals. Its acute angles produce an effect of pugnacity and aggression. The triangle assimilates all shapes of diagonal character, such as rhombus, trapezoid, zig-zag, and their derivatives. It is the symbol of thought, and among colors its weightless character is matched by lucid yellow. A circle is the locus of a point moving at constant distance from a given point in a plane. In contradistinction to the sharp, tense sensation of motion produced by the square, the circle generates a feeling of relaxation and smooth motion. It is the symbol of the spirit, moving undivided within itself. The ancient Chinese used circular elements to build their temples, while the palace of the temporal sovereign was constructed in quadrangular manner.


autistic savant story

Autistic children sometimes can’t sense the danger, and it can cause harm to themselves or others.


Meet, Steven Stephen Wiltshire is an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes. He has a particular talent for drawing lifelike, accurate representations of cities, sometimes after having only observed them briefly. He was awarded an MBE for services to the art world in 2006. He studied Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College. His work is popular all over the world, and is held in a number of important collections. Stephen was born in London to West Indian parents on 24th April, 1974. As a child he was mute, and did not relate to other human beings. Aged three, he was diagnosed as autistic. He had no language and lived entirely in his own world. At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London, where it was noticed that the only pastime he enjoyed was drawing. It soon became apparent he communicated with the world through the language of drawing; first animals, then London buses, and finally buildings. These drawings show a masterful perspective, a whimsical line, and reveal a natural innate artistry. At the age of eight, Stephen started drawing cityscapes after the effects of an earthquake (all imaginary), as a result of being shown pho-

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tographs of earthquakes in a book at school. He also became obsessed with illustrations of classic American cars at this time (his knowledge of them is encyclopaedic), and he drew most of the major London landmarks. individuals with ASD, there is no single treatment that will be effective for all people on the spectrum. Individuals can learn to function within the confines of ASD and use the positive aspects of their condition to their benefit, but treatment must begin as early as possible and be tailored to the child’s unique strengths, weaknesses and needs The teachers at Queensmill School encouraged him to speak by temporarily taking away his art supplies so that he would be forced to ask for them. Stephen responded by making sounds and eventually uttered his first word - “paper.” He learned to speak fully at the age of nine. In 1987, the BBC QED programme, ‘The Foolish Wise Ones’, featured Stephen’s astounding talent. Stephen was introduced by Sir Hugh Casson (past president of the Royal Academy), who described him as “the best child artist in Britain”. Stephen’s work has since been the subject of numerous television programmes around the world. He has been featured in many books, and his own third book Floating Cities (1991) was number one in the Sunday Times Bestseller List. Meanwhile, Stephen’s artworks were being exhibited frequently in venues all over the world. In 2001 he appeared in another BBC documentary, ‘Fragments of Genius’, for which he was filmed flying over London aboard a helicopter, and subsequently completing a detailed and perfectly scaled aerial illustration of a four-square-mile area within three hours. His drawing included 12 historic landmarks and 200 other structures.


what is autism?

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In October and November 2003, thousands flocked to the Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham, near London, England, to see the first major retrospective of Stephen’s work. The exhibition covered the 20year period, from 1983 to 2003, and comprised 150 examples of Stephen’s drawings, paintings and prints. There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior and developmental levels. However, because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms being exhibited. At first glance, some persons with autism may appear to have mental retardation, a behavior disorder, problems with hearing, or even odd and eccentric behavior. To complicate matters further, these conditions can co-occur with autism. However, it is important to distinguish autism from other conditions, since an accurate diagnosis and early identification can provide the basis for building an appropriate and effective educational and treatment program.

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helpful sources

Some children with autism may develop an obsession with toys or objects.


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