2015 Autistic Pride Day and the 6th Annual Autistic Artistic Carnival

First a preview of Steve Silberman’s book on the forgotten history of autism. Can’t wait for his book to come out in August, Please purchase the book and read it!!!

From the Chalk Festival from Kelly Green, a non-autistic ally: It’s called “Acceptance for all: Great and small”

Giraffe canvasc


Be Brave (Revolution)

Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out.
They say war is necessary,
But we say war is child abuse.
Find the new ways that we must be king,
Instead of leading the young to our suffering.
I wanna see you be brave.

Sign what you wanna sign and let the words fall out.
Don’t let them pretend they’re saving you!
Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down.
There’s no one here to save.
I wanna see you be brave.

Write what you wanna write and let the words fall out.
Start a revolution at the break of day.
So we’re calling all the crows, they’re coming in slow
It’s gonna be a showdown, said the rebel to the revolutionary follow me,
We tell the court, you tell the king,
That we ain’t listening to you no more!
I wanna see you be brave.

Type what you wanna type and let the words fall out.
You could cut ties with all the lies you’ve been living in.
It’s time to try defying gravity.
Unlimited, together we’re unlimited
As someone told me lately,
Everyone deserves the chance to fly.
I wanna see you be brave.

Another echolalic poem. Lyrics (sometimes slightly modified) from:
Brave- Sara Bareilles
People of the Sun- PONS
King of Anything- Sara Bareilles
White Flag Warrior- Flobots
It’s My Life-Bon Jovi
Jumper- Third Eye Blind
Calling all Crows- State Radio
Knights of Bostonia- State Radio
– See more at: http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/2015/04/be-brave-revolution.html#sthash.F0rxBT3E.dpuf


Disabled AND proud.
Disabled AND awesome.
Disabled AND positive.
But, but, but, implying something’s strange.
And, and, and, no contradictions here.
No paradoxes of disability and winning,
Here even when the plot doesn’t demand.

– See more at: http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/2014/04/poem-time-4-poems.html#sthash.3XpWh0xr.dpuf

Shoes (Thank Neurodivergent K for the idea.)

Walk in their shoes, their shoes, their shoes.
The shoes that pinch and rub and blister,
Not built for me, or for those like me.
There are no shoes made for us.
If I can’t have my own, there will be no shoes.
No assimilation to lives not my own. Barefoot revolution.

– See more at: http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/2014/04/poem-time-4-poems.html#sthash.3XpWh0xr.dpuf


bryan merandi













Carrie - Abstract Mixed Media-Tape and Paint-Carrie S-Autistic Artist



Local Carnival

Quiet Lake in Springtime

Stretching Alligator

The Fountain





Jennifer and her son

basic dist

better dist












I’m an adult with sensory sensitivities and diagnoses of both Aspergers and selective mutism. I remember what it was like to be a child with those challenges. At the time, I thought that because I was so different from everyone else that I must have be an alien dropped here and expected to know the culture! There are times I almost disappeared completely. I realize now that this is a common feeling. If I could write a note to “The Child Self” I was then, it would go like this:
Dear Child Self,
You will experience fear, tragic loss, indignities and confusion,that seem overwhelming. Peers your age seem to know what to do, what to say and how to bond with each other. But Child Self: you can’t get the words out. They stick in your throat like the biggest lump ever. You cringe when people say “She’s so shy,” because you know that you are not shy. The word ‘shy’ minimizes something more serious. What you can’t know, Child Self, is that your senses are on high. Your brain works differently. If you could see it, you’d see your brain may look like other brains but the way it takes in information, makes sense of the information and manages output is vastly different. Still…I understand now, you only ever wanted to BLEND IN.
You have serious, all-out desperate meltdowns. Sometimes you can’t even communicate to your own parents. You attach notes to clothespins and throw them into the living room for your parents to read. They will not read your note. They will simply yell, “Stop throwing things!” So you must know this: Many times your thoughts, feelings, and ideas go unexpressed. But they are valid! Guess what, Child Self?
You aren’t alone.




D4D_7406[1] Leah 1

leah 2 5539_10151643545638609_37525276_n[1]

leah 3 ikazuchi_no_fusanoshin_by_willowwishcosplay-d7ll30z[2]










He that cannot be

“He That Cannot Be”
By Michael Tolleson, Autistic Savant Artist
16″ x 20″ (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Acrylic On Canvas

Every day is a struggle when you have autism. Some of us are high functioning, and others are challenged more severely. Our daily challenges vary, but there is a couple of factors at play within each of us on the autism spectrum in my opinion. There is “the condition” and there is “the person”. The two are different though housed in the same body. One has nothing to do with the other, and who or what floats to the surface and demands recognition is always a dice throw since autism is so unpredictable and different in every person on the spectrum. How autism affects any person can yield both severe challenges and extraordinary gifts.
Autism, as a condition can be difficult, but the tendency of those persons on the spectrum can be to become uncomfortable with pushing beyond boundaries and comfort levels. While the condition can be permeated with depression and unhappiness, that darkness within autism supplies a comfy, familiar angst that fits comfortably like an old worn shoe that requires nothing new of us other than to resist transition and change. So even if the opportunity or desire for change presents itself, the ability to enact upon it comes very hard or not at all for many of us on the autism spectrum.
This painting is about that which struggles within us: Angst, Hope, Compassion, Despair, Dexterity, Paralysis, Loss, and Victory. To have autism is to fight the battle each day. Will the darkness close in on us before we can use our inner light to do what we have intended in our hearts and minds to do that day? A very simple task, now impossible…The struggle of trying to get one foot to move in front of the other as the long row of steps in front of us threatens to defeat and humiliate us. Our mind is alert, but the journey from within our darkness to the light of the world as others know it, is so far when autism closes its incapacitating grip around us. Sometimes we are left with only the ability to shed tears in frustration against the inability to control our own bodies. Paralyzed, frozen solid, frantically crying from within to be seen, heard, and understood from a body that is only seen as “He that cannot be”

File_1322, 3/12/14, 2:38 AM,  8C, 5426x8064 (1234+1297), 100%, Art Scanning-1,  1/40 s, R50.6, G14.0, B36.2

File_1322, 3/12/14, 2:38 AM, 8C, 5426×8064 (1234+1297), 100%, Art Scanning-1, 1/40 s, R50.6, G14.0, B36.2

“I Am Invisible”
By Michael Tolleson, Autistic Savant Artist
24″ x 36″ (60.9 x 91.4cm)
Acrylic on Canvas

HALT! At that moment the horse stops abruptly, mane flying, chest extended and eyes forward regardless of what forward motion or journey was occurring just seconds before.
One of our first students in our autistic art mentoring programs was an absolutely brilliant 8 year old child who had a gift for art and a charismatic personality that would make you instantly love him. He had at that young age already been asked by a Seattle gallery to curate two separate art gallery shows. He appeared on featured TV news many times and charmed everyone that he came in contact with. I understood him, and I saw myself as I was as a small child within his being. One day, he was in an art session with one of our instructors, who thought he was helping this child’s focus by asking for a 15 minute timed “no talk” period while they worked together on a particular art project. The child’s eyes filled with tears and he earnestly asked, “Why doesn’t anyone want to hear what I have to say?”
Autism can be a blessing and a challenge for many. For those of us with Asperger’s that are high IQ’ed and high functioning, we are crippled more than the world may ever understand. To appear just like everyone else is not good when your wiring does not align with others’ standard operating practices. For many of us, I included, we constantly verbalize and we lack filters for what is interesting for others, and what is nothing more than our verbal processing to understand all the stimulus around us. Many times I have been included in a group of persons discussing a subject and bravely contributed my opinion to the discussion, only to be met with blank stares…HALT!
I do not know why persons on the autism spectrum’s particular views on a subject or the way we present those views, can be so out of alignment with others. It appears that there is no understanding or response from anyone during those situations… and worse yet, we are left with the perception of the fact we are not there, not present at all. Try as I might, my mind does not comprehend the difference between an interesting, relevant, worthy contribution to the moment vs a dead ended, dead air space creating verbal process that has found its way into the verbal light, out of the dark underworld of my constantly processing mind which must explore every sensory input with equal value.
A moment with friends, a moment with a loved one, a moment with co-workers or even close family…my words come forth…HALT!
My heart sinks to my stomach because once again my mouth has brought into existence that which should have remained hidden, unsaid, and unnoticed, and I once again find that…”I am Invisible”


image (1) paul



2015 TOLSTR - MAY 3

AIGINA 2007-6-18






S.Tihanyi-The Shadow and the Fire Cat Stephanie

Spectrum Gurl Teresa








When you see me alone

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Inward being

Beauty in brokeness