About HeARTs for Autism®
HeARTs for Autism® – Raising Awareness for the Autism Spectrum Disorders through Art Therapy, Education and Advocacy
We are a grassroots, volunteer, non-profit organization of parents, professionals and artists who are committed and inspired to spread awareness about the complex and diverse nature of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Our mission is to use art as a way to advocate and educate the larger community about the spectrum nature of Autism and as a therapeutic expression for persons associated with the Autistic Spectrum.
HeARTs for Autism was founded in September 2005 by Robin V. Schwoyer and Dr. Svetlana Gradess. They were joined by Nora Perry and Veronica Parker as the family program launched. They all shared a vision of helping not only the Autistic person but the families as well. The inspiration for the outreach came from artwork done by Robin’s son, his siblings and 3 peers. The uniqueness of HeARTs is the integrated and holistic approach used in our programs. Various creative methods are used for the Spectrum person, with a special emphasis on the volunteer assistants developing social connections. Parents/caregivers explore themes around the emotional and spiritual aspects, plus learn techniques for self care like stress reduction, meditation, inner child, etc. Siblings have a chance to meet with others, chat about issues and creatively express. Sometimes they assist as typical peers in group activities. Overall, it is a fun, safe place to learn how to embrace life on this Spectrum Journey.
We came together in many ways, and from many paths, to use the beneficial aspects of art to help those affected by ASD and to educate the larger community about ASD. Members are kids, parents, professionals and artists who want to help and are passionate about creative expression.
Meet the Directors and Advisory Committee of HeARTs:
Click here to view the Directors page (this link to come)