Estée Klar-Wolfond, Founder and Director of TAAP, describes the launch of a new gallery exhibit and series of talks.
The Launch of The Joy of Autism: Redefining Ability and Quality of Life last night [October 5th, 2006] was a dream.
Five autistic guests who spoke at the microphone, and a gallery full of people, willing to accept. Parents thankful and aware of our need to accept the joy our children bring us, despite the challenges. People untouched by autism approaching me who said “I didn’t understand autism, and now I understand a little more.”
And then, as I finished my speech which had no mention of the following words, Jonathan Lerman yelled: “SELF ESTEEM!”
Larry Bissonnette wrote on his computer: “Larry looks good on Estee’s film.”
Brian Henson said “we are not all the same,” and gave reference to how autistic people are stereotyped.
Martine Stonehouse talked about autistic ability despite the many challenges she has face throughout her life, and her wish to be appreciated for her ability.
Then Alan Lerman said, “The title Joy of Autism seemed provocative. I read some of the comments on Estee’s blog where one parent said ‘I’m tired of all the doom and gloom.’ The Lerman family is in that corner.”
We were well attended by educators, autistic people, scientists, parents and many people from other disabled communities.
I am grateful that my life has been touched by these incredible people. And all because of one child who has given me more than I could ever give back in return: my Adam.