Welcome to our Autism Awareness Blog Hop! I consider it a huge honor to be part of this blog hop where a group of Stampin’ Up! demonstrators who have come together to raise funds and awareness for Autism. During the hop you’ll find a plethora of inspiration as each of us shares a different project. In addition to the inspiring you, it’s my hope that you will also consider making a donation to the Autism Society through my official fundraising page. Over the last several years I’ve been able to raise over $2,500 through donations! Any amount helps, even $1 and your donation is 100% tax deductible.
Before I share my project with you, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Dedra, and her two sons, DJ (age 16) and Ricky (age 13). Dedra and I met four years ago at an Autism Fundraising event I hosted. Both of her sons have Autism, at opposite ends of the spectrum. Dedra took the time to write about her boys and their daily life. It’s a glimpse at amazing, unconditional love and patience!
Dedra writes, “Our story is always changing and our life is filled with adventure. DJ is moderately autistic. We are blessed that he is verbal and normally has a very sweet disposition. He loves animals and never goes anywhere without a small animal beanie in his hand. He attends a wonderful school where he’s challenged with academics (his favorite new activity is counting money), art, yoga and his favorite class – cooking. He loves school which makes summer a rough period. He’s a creature of habit and loves routine, hence why his daily lunch is always the same. A simple disruption to his routine causes him much anxiety.
Ricky has Aspberger’s. He refuses to believe he’s on the spectrum and that he only has quirks that make him who he is. He has no verbal filter and says whatever comes to mind which creates difficulty in social interactions. He has a small circle of friends and prefers it that way. He refused to be photographed for concern over being labeled by his peers – hence the bunny head photograph. He told me “I don’t mind being called a nerd or a tech head but if they think I have Autism they will treat me like a weirdo.”
Parenting my sons is a large amount of trial and error and remembering to respect their routines and giving them space to decompress is critical to our day. I pay careful attention to their body language and surroundings, accepting that no matter where we go, we may have to deal with a meltdown or leave if they become overloaded. Parenting is also about ignoring nasty looks from bystanders and resisting the urge to meltdown right along with our sons while others are pointing and gawking at them. I choose friends who understand that one child will go to bed at 8PM regardless if he’s at home or their house while the other seeks out gaming systems and books. Our friends are those that recognize when we are frazzled and provide relief with an invitation to lunch when I can get a sitter. It’s friends and family who bring awareness to others that provide a helpful support system. As a mom, my heart hurts that there’s no acceptance. Every Autistic child is different and beautiful! In order for our culture to accept Autism we must educate and share our stories.”
Supporting Dedra and her husband is what my card is all about.
I used a layer of Watercolor Paper to create a wash background from Tempting Turquoise and Emerald Envy ink pads. The secret to getting the layers of color and prominent brush marks is drying each coat using a Heat Tool.
The splatter areas were created by holding the Aqua Painter, heavily embraced with water, over the dried paper and tapping it against my index finger. The splatters leave a negative area on the colored surface – great for texture!
The Hanging Garden stamp set includes these delicate butterflies and this sentiment (along with others) which I thought were perfect for Dedra and her husband on days that don’t go smoothly. After this hop, this card is going in the mail to them. I hope it’s a reminder of the love and acceptance that does surround them.
Did you know that Autism is more prevalent among children than diabetes, cancer and pediatric AIDS combined? We’d sure like your help in raising awareness through a donation on the Autism Society website below.
Lisa Curcio <———You are here!
Lauren Alarid <——-Next