By Melina Chavarria
As we finalize the second issue of Aurtistic Zine, titled Perception, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how my perception has shifted since my kids were diagnosed with Autism. I still remember the feeling of devastation when they were diagnosed 8 years ago. I did a lot of research to try to understand their diagnosis and wrap my head around what our new journey would be like, but all that the research did was fill me with more anxiety. My mind couldn’t stop thinking about all of the worst possible scenarios, and worrying about what the future holds for them. I had nightmares about my sons running away, and drowning in a pool, since that’s mostly how Autistic children were being portrayed by the media.
8 years later, I am grateful for how my children have enlightened me and opened my eyes and heart. They continue to challenge me and push me to rethink the things I think I know. I no longer worry if or when they will reach certain milestones, because they have shown me that each individual grows at their own pace, at their own time, in their own way. This realization has helped me accept and celebrate their differences. I’m not forcing them to be mainstreamed, if anything I resist them being pushed to normalcy.
I believe that they were born with Autism for a reason, to stand out and show us that diversity is not just about skin color; but also about the many different minds, skills, and talents that it takes to make our world beautiful. Now instead of worrying about them fitting in, my goals are to help them unfold and develop their unique talents and perspectives, because I know there is something in them this world needs.
So when you pick up our next issue, I hope that it will open your eyes, and help you see that each individual has a different perception, Autistic or not. And regardless of where someone is on the spectrum, each individual has unlimited potential.
This week's blog post comes from Aurtistic Zine's Vol.1 Issue 1 titled Journey to our Diagnosis illustrated by artist, Susie Chavez. Aurtistic Zine is a publication that publishes artwork made by artists with autism and their families.
To learn more about Aurtistic Zine, you can visit their page here.
To purchase Aurtistic Zine's first publication titled Spectrum, you can find it available for sale at the DSTL Arts shop.
Plant A Brand New World is an illustration submitted by @FOOZARO to be featured in Art Block Zine's Volume 4, Issue 2 titled Processing.
Art Block Zine is currently accepting submissions for our next biannual zine. For more details, visit our page.
To find more illustrations, poetry, and art like such, you can buy a copy of Processing in the DSTL Arts store.
By Tanya Sotelo
Raising an Autistic child has had me look more closely at how the world perceives Autism and Autistic people. I began to realize what an impact Aurtistic could have when I shared on social media about how Aurtistic came to be and what we were trying to do with the zine. Friends, family, and strangers online messaged me about their excitement for the Zine and how happy they were to see something like Aurtistic was being made.
When my Editor in Chief and I began to brainstorm for issue 2 of Aurtistic Zine, perception immediately jumped out at me as a theme. I thought about all the encounters with people who have had their perception of Autism curated by the media and how they react to being informed that our son is Autistic. It often leads to responses of “Well at least he doesn’t look Autistic.” “He looks normal though!” “Maybe he will grow out of it?” and many more. This will never fail to induce a silent rage to well up inside of me. I try my best to explain that there is no “look” this is not something that can be “grown out of” and I don’t even bother with the whole normal thing because what the hell?
Those responses are what drives me. I truly believe that through Aurtistic we are able to offer a different viewpoint from what the mainstream media currently perpetuates. That through the zine Autistic artists can share their talent and their stories that encourage others to expand or change their perception of Autism. Art is often used as bridge between cultures and I hope with Aurtistic it can be a bridge that fosters understanding and acceptance for those with neurological differences.
Story By Melina Chavarria
Illustrated by Adolfo Reyes Jr.
Hyperlexsia is a comic produced by DSTL Art's Aurtistic Zine, open to artists with autism and their families. Hyperlexsia can be found in Aurtistic Zine's Vol. 1, Issue 1 titled: Spectrum.
You can find your copy of Spectrum available for purchase here.
To learn more about Aurtistic Zine, you can visit their web page here.
The content displayed here is submitted by various local authors, artists, and more, and is curated by the DSTL Arts Art Block Zine–Editorial Board. Works published here are done so with the permission of all artists involved. Artists hold all rights to their work, and none of it may be reproduced without their permission.