Information supplied by the Friendship Network
For people with autism, even the simplest social interactions are difficult to navigate. People with Autism want meaningful friendships; however the complexities within socializing do not come naturally to them. What may seem like a straightforward social interaction to most can feel disorienting and blurred for those with Autism often leading them to face isolation and intense bullying.
April is Autism awareness month and on April 14, the Friendship Network for Children, a mental health non-profit organization that provides counseling, groups and advocacy for children and teens with Autism will be hosting“Art for Autism. The goal of this event is to increase mental health awareness while raising money to go towards the Friendship Networks comprehensive mental health services.
Adam Midgette, a client from the Friendship Network for Children, uses the artistic outlet of poetry to describe his experiences.
Here is an excerpt from his poem titled “Autism.”
“To me, Autism is just a lens, A view. Mine is shaped differently than any of yours. But, I am no better nor less than any of you. I just see in a different way, A different perspective.”
Just as people with Autism see things from a different perspective art also allows people to view the same thing in a different light. Art for Autism is a silent art auction and informative presentation featuring the Friendship Networks Student-to-Student Autism Connection.
The Student-to-Student Autism Connection was created four years ago with the guidance of long time Worcester county resident and founder of the Friendship Network, Nancy Swanberg. The S.A.C includes both “neurotypical” and autistic high school students from the local community.
Their mission is to decrease bullying and mistreatment of people with Autism and Aspergers by raising awareness and acceptance. Together the teens have created informative presentations that offer heart felt personal experiences of bullying, mis-understandings, sensory overload and more.
The S.A.C will be doing a special presentation at Art for Autism and they hope that everyone who attends the event will walk away with a greater sense of connectedness with people who have Autism.
Support from the local community is critical because even as this is being written, children and teens with Autism are being misunderstood, bullied and withdrawn from the world. The Friendship Network is confident that those who contribute to the event will feel positive about supporting children and teens in their community.