Getting To Know Autism: A personal Story

Author – Enolissa Tyson DSP

As a young child I wasn’t really exposed to anyone who had Autism. I actually had my first interaction with someone who was autistic when I was around 14 years old. My mom’s friend has a granddaughter that was diagnosed with Autism. At the time I didn’t know that she was autistic, I only knew that she couldn’t talk and had trouble getting good grades in school. I remember she used to get upset when she was told “No”, and she would just scream. I asked her grandmother one day why she was unable to talk and she explained to me that she has Autism and because of her developmental disability it was one of the traits that she had. I was around her for about a month, and I was able to learn how she was able to communicate without speaking. After being around her, I was definitely interested in learning more about Autism and developmental disabilities.  

Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. There are some repetitive behaviors that you see, such as little to no eye contact, rocking, delayed speech, and these are pointed out in order to identify someone with Autism. Having a child with Autism is not easy, and I’ve learned that from experience as well as being around someone that is Autistic as well. One of my closest friends’ daughters (My God Daughter) have Autism and her mother tells me all the time that its hard and there are times she doesn’t know what her daughter wants because she is unable to communicate well at the age of 3. Having a support system of family, friends and the community around to help makes things easier. This is where Autism Awareness comes into play. Autism awareness encourages us to take measures on how to raise awareness about people with Autism. We celebrate World Autism Day on April 2 each year. We need to continue to educate and build awareness about Autism, get involved and be a support system.  

Anticipation Of Animation

Author – Kenisha Ferguson DSP
Here at daybreak independence services, we offer lots of crafts and activities for the people we serve. They enjoy learning new things to reach higher goals and also different ways to express themselves.  We enjoy activities like writing in journals, music, dancing, and especially art. We’ve all had the advantage of learning a new form of art through an Animation and Digital Media Instructor by the name of Bismark Fernandes. When asked how those we serve have responded to the lessons Bismark stated, “Animation can be a bit technical and repetitive at times, which can be a bit overwhelming for those we provide services to so I try to simplify the process, by introducing fun exercises and assignments”. 
Everyone has a different and unique story and through animation, the people we support are able to have a platform to express their ideas and stories in a visual form which mimics cartoons we have all seen before. Bismark’s aim was to teach the animation medium by working with different groups on various exercises and assignments, in order to help everyone bring their own stories to life. “It’s just another form of self-expression and helps channel their creativity and imagination”.
Since this is a new activity, many at Daybreak were excited about the animation class. Everyone loves seeing their artwork and characters move on the screen and those we support are excited to learn how some of their favorite animated shows or films were made. Bismark mentioned that “This has been a great learning experience”. Through his animation, he has been able to teach individuals without formal art training on a new and evolving form of art. Along with teaching animation, Bismark encourages those we service to draw their own characters and not rely only on tracing or coloring sheets. “After working with the individuals for a while, I have learned that they are highly imaginative and can come up with unique stories and concepts”.