Flash From the Past

July 02 - July 15

The Art of Autism

Our Vision
To empower and connect individuals within the autism community through participation in the Arts.

Our Mission
To foster independence, self-esteem and artistic expression by participation in The Art of Autism Project.

We do this by:

Supporting artists, musicians and creative writers on the autism spectrum
• Providing a forum for displaying, selling and promoting the art of autistic individuals, including visual and fine artists; poets, video/film content providers, singers, and writers
• Providing regular, quality blog posts, essays and newsworthy stories written by autistic writers and others that inform, enlighten and educate.
• Providing a newsletter of potential opportunities for writers and artists on the spectrum to showcase their work
• Creating merchandise – licensed by us from our pool of AoA artists – that support the monetization of both the artists and AoA’s organizational goals.
• Helping artists, writers, and film makers learn new skills through mentorship and developing their entrepreneurship skills

Raising awareness about autism and the arts
• Raising awareness of the importance of the arts as viable tools for learning, growth and expression; especially for autistic artists and their valuable contributions to the world
• Being guided by principles of respect, honesty, openness and willingness to patiently listen to and address diverse points of views, opinions and beliefs with the purpose of continually advocating for the betterment of autistic lives and the systems that support them.

Strengthening the broader autism community
• Encouraging respectful dialogue among collaborating organizations and participants
• Collaborating with like-minded organizations to educate, inspire, and advocate, through neurodiversity panels, educational events, poetry readings, art exhibits, forums, workshops and other types of events.

Our work is inspired by these Values:
• Participant focused
• Appreciation of diversity
• Committed to our mission
• Celebrating and sharing success
• Collaboration
• Passionate about dignity and respect
• A core belief that access to the Arts should be affordable
• Delivery of high-quality products

Fly Free to Be Me

My name is Mike Roberson and I am a private pilot. One Tuesday in January I was out flying and as I left the airport I glanced over at Vidant Medical Center and thought “we should carry sick children flying”. I continued with my day and just put that thought away. For two days I didn’t think anymore about this idea. Well, Thursday night at 2 am I woke from a solid sleep with only one thing on my mind “taking sick children flying”! So, I listened! The next morning I made three phone calls with the third one connecting me to Kimber Stone with Riley’s Army. After just a few minutes she was just as excited about this as I am.

After several meetings and sharing this idea with almost everybody I came in contact with, we set the stage for our first event at South Oaks Aerodrome in Winterville, NC. I talked with the local EAA chapter and they too shared in my excitement. They immediately offered to provide the planes and the fuel to make this day happen. I left the meeting thinking WOW! We really have a great opportunity to touch the lives of people that are going through a tough season in their life. The children are all battling some type of chronic or critical illness, though we may not be able to heal their sickness, through laughter and fun we can make it less painful for the entire family. As the name implies, Free To Be Me is a day for the children and their siblings to come out and just feel free to be themselves with no restrictions!

The Project Heal

Our Values

We believe that all people who struggle with food and body should be able to get the support and care that they need to heal, regardless of age, gender identity, race, ability, or financial means.

We believe that the people best equipped to identify the needs in eating disorder treatment and care are those who have direct experience of these systems, and we are committed to seeking guidance from patients and families in developing our programs and strategy.

We believe that every community is unique, and that local communities have the power to identify and meet their own needs. We are committed to supporting local leaders in developing adaptive strategies that respond to the unique needs of their communities.

We believe that our work should be informed by the latest research, and we are committed to creating and rigorously evaluating programs, and to shifting gears when a better strategy presents itself.

Cloud Covered Streets

Cloud Covered Streets is the brainchild of Paper Clouds Apparel founder and CEO, Robert Thornton. The mission and goal is to reach out to those most in need and help them with clothing, toiletries, understanding, and hope. What started as a personal mission in Phoenix, AZ has blossomed and we have street teams in Austin, TX and San Diego, CA. Currently, the goal for Cloud Covered Streets at the moment is to continue bringing in street teams and we are raising money for a mobile shower and laundry trailer. As we have been meeting more and more of the homeless, we want to be able to do more for each of them. They have told us how difficult it can be to shower regularly. We want to expand further than clean shirts and toiletry gifts into helping the homeless we encounter to feel normal again. No one is born homeless and we believe that providing a mobile shower facility with a washer and dryer will help every person we encounter to feel a little more hope inside. Please help us reach this goal so that we can make this dream a reality!

Team Logan

As some of you know, Logan was recently diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Medication is now a part of his daily life, and exercise is going to be a huge part of our routine moving forward. We are lucky enough to have an empty space in our home that we will be converting into Logan's fitness room, and it will be customized to his needs, likes and limitations. He has spinal issues, and therefore will be working with some specialists to make sure everything is perfectly geared toward his health and safety.

So we have brought Logan's Slombie design back out to help him with his needs. Half of the proceeds will go directly towards his medical bills and help him save a little for the future as he cannot find work.

Thank you so much for your support and I hope you enjoy your new "swag".
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  • Artist


    25 yrs old

  • Artist


    38 yrs old

  • Artist

    Simi Fromen

  • Artist


    6 yrs old

  • Artist

    Tim Sharp

Logan is a 25-year-old young man who is living with Hashimoto's and developmental disabilities, including Apraxia. He enjoys riding his trike, bowling, fishing, playing basketball and helping with his many, many animals. His family likes to consider him challenged not limited, and you can find out more about him through Logan's mom, Allyson, chronicles their lives on her Facebook page, The Crumb Diaries.
Logan's designs are raising money for Logan's Fund, a trust fund set up to be set aside for Logan should anything happen to his parents.    

Justin is 38 years old and works at a wood shop in a supported vocational program in Tucson, Arizona.  Justin loves to exercise, draw pictures, listen to music, and anything fireman related.  He is close with his family (especially his uncles!) and enjoys spending time with them while rock climbing and canoeing.  Justin has a dog, Koty, and two cats, Jacob Marley and Jordin Sparks.  Justin has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome with Autism Spectrum Disorder but his disability certainly does not define him!!

Simi Fromen is a writer and poet. When she was a young child, she wrote poetry and stories as an exploration of the arts and to unleash her creativity. Many years later, she picked up the pen again finding healing and her voice through words. Her work has been featured in online magazines. Her love and passion for spilling ink have gained her a devoted online following. Her first book Ascending Voice is now out and available on Amazon in the link below. She is currently working on her next inspirational book and novel.

Tommy is six years old and he is much like any other six year old. He loves cars, trucks, trains and planes and he loves to play outside. Although he is much like any six year old boy, he is also very different. He was born with 22q11.2DS – 22q for short. 22q is a partial deletion of the 22 chromosome and it affects every carrier differently with a wide range of symptoms.
In Tommy’s case, he was affected with a heart defect, a cleft lip & palate, a laryngeal web as well as low muscle tone and developmental delays. He has been tube fed the majority of his life and he’s slowly learning how to eat on his own. Because of his many challenges, he has a very busy schedule. He has been receiving therapies multiple times a week since birth and he has had five surgeries to date. He currently goes to developmental school every weekday. In addition, he receives 3-4 therapies a week at home after school. He is very busy, but he continues to work hard like the super hero he is.
Although he has so much on his plate, Tommy is one of the happiest and easiest going kids I have ever met. He loves the movie Wall-E and his favorite past time is playing with his planes. He loves to snuggle and his best friend is his four year old sister, Rosemary. Tommy has a special way of making people in his life happy and he is truly an inspiration to everyone he meets.

Tim Sharp is an Australian artist who has been diagnosed with autism and is most famous for his creation of the colorful super hero Laser Beak Man. In 2010, Sharp's work garnered international attention when Laser Beak Man was turned into an eight episode animated television series screening in Australia on ABC3 TV and it was then sold to Cartoon Network Australia, New Zealand and Asia – a world first for a young man with autism to achieve.