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This illustration was perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.Not because of content or style but the subject matter.
Why because it is a painting of my 2 year old boy Teddy. Who has been recently diagnosed with autism.
It is based on a few principles (well unfortunately realities)
Children with autism need early intervention- when their minds are still in that sponge like pliable stage- so that they can develop new pathways of learning and have a better chance at leading the closest thing to what we call a normal life.
Currently in the state of Wisconsin there is an extremely long waiting list to get aid from the government to pay for the proper therapy-called a waiver (aprox. $100,000-$150,000 a year)
The other painful thing is to know that there is a real great child in there. I say "in there" because (as hopefully illustrated in my painting) they are aware and intelligent yet cannot simply communicate or show their love or emotions, which must be so horribly frustrating. (Hence what I feel everyone sees when they think of a child with autism throwing a violent tantrum) Imagine being trapped mentally in what would feel like a permanent claustrophobic cell, wanting to cry out to those you love but not having the voice to do so.
This image was created because of the premises and how sadly and ironically people do not know enough about this condition, yet we all know and love our (what I refer to as) death TV. Shows like Law and Order, CSI, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Bones, etc. Where they will boost their ratings by having horrible atrocities like being buried alive to chill the viewer's imaginations. Worse yet they will use children in their stories to further stir our emotions (Law and Order SVU in my humble opinion by far the most ruthless in doing this).
Anyways- this isn't about violence on TV- It's about how my son is in a way buried alive, and much like the way the shows on TV go- there is a limited amount of time to metaphorically "reach him".
I sincerely hope you like this image and find it stirring enough to help me out. I know a lot of you, and have tried to help many of you out with your artwork in the past,
I do not intend to presume you owe me anything for that- I simply implore that you take a couple minutes out of your day, tell your friends to visit and follow the link that I have provided below to politely voice your opinion in asking the government to lower the time it takes to get children like my son help.
Also to show your support for an upcoming mandate that will push insurance companies to cover children with autism's therapy, for which they currently do nothing.
It doesn't have to be much- a sentence or two and a copy to this link. You do not have to be from Wisconsin or even this country to show your support.
Here is the link:
please CC: Robert.Marchant@legis.wisconsin.gov <Robert.Marchant@legis.wisconsin.gov>
Tamlynn Sallows <email@example.com>
If I have offended or misused this forum to try and proactively use my talents to help him out, and or put you in an uncomfortable position-you
have my most sincere apologies. If the moderators deem this is not the stage to present this personal matter- and choose to move this thread
to a more personal section of this site I understand- you have already been too generous to me in the past and I will take no offence to it being moved.
If you do- I would truly appreciate anything you can do to promote people to visiting this post wherever it may end up.
Glen aka gangus
I wanted to write and thank Mike Corriero and Conceptart.org for putting this thread at the top of the forum. The response is amazing.
A couple of people have mentioned that they do not know what top write so I thought I would put a basic response (as per suggestion) that you can cut out of this post and paste into the email. I'll also include a link to this thread so that they can come and see the response,as well as repost the links so you don't have to search through the thread to find them.
Here is a cut and paste response to use:
Dear Govenor Doyle and Wisconsin Legislature,
I am writing to voice my support for children diagnosed with autism to recieve treatment as soon as possible. The current waiting list for the waiver program is far too long to get those diagnosed- the intensive therapy that they sorely need. I am also concerned about the mandate that would require insurance companies to cover the cost of therapy. Will they not cover the intensive programs fully? and will this delay or hinder government support even further?
Please follow this link to see how many of us are interested in seeing these issues followed through for Teddy (the little boy in the painting and the many other children who are in desperate need of action.
Here is the link for where to send this:
please cut and CC the following emails if at all possible:
***For those that are not US citizens- I am sure your voices carry just as much weight as well- simply email the CC addresses directly above instead of clicking on the first link.
Thank you so much to everyone again for visiting and voicing your concern and heartfelt wishes to my family.
DOWNLOAD THE HI RES IMAGE
PS- I have attached a download link to anyone who wants the hi res version of this piece to use for inspiration or any community purpose.
The illustration and printing rights I give freely.
Here is the ftp address: http://www.gangus.net/Ted.zip
click on the link and simply hit save.
If it is to be used publicly- Please footnote that the image was done by gangus and taken from the kindness of the forum Conceptart.org
(If the moderators do not want any association with this please contact me and I'll remove this part, otherwise I am proud to have
you be affiliated with this)
Last edited by Gangus; March 2nd, 2007 at 07:18 PM.
A really striking and moving picture .
As for the subject matter itself, I send you a PM ...
I'm sorry to hear that Gangus. , In your artwork, It took me a little while of looking at it to make out the boys face, I would not have know that it was a boy with no mouth without your description of autism and not having a voice to cry out. I hope you are not offended with my critique, I understand this is a touchy subject for you, but I wanted to be honest about my first thoughts about your picture.
Also what do you mean by "vote on this piece to get it more views" ?
You put some real thought into this, and it shows. I agree that the face was a bit hard to read without the mouth there, but the rest of the illustration is on-target.
Be sure to call your representatives in congress, both the house and the senate, to tell them that you're having a hard time getting the waiver. Visit their local offices as well. Reps can and do act on behalf of individuals, especially to draw attention to a case.
I don't know what to say Gangus. I've always been a great fan, mainly because you have very expressive touches upon every work you make.
This piece you've made about your son, made the tears come upon my face.
I live too far from you to give you a hug and to kiss your son's forehead, but I hope you feel hugged by me. My wife and I understand your pain because we both have worked and studied with special people during our lives and we know how hard it is. Just feel free to send me emails or things like that. Here in Brazil we develop many interesting studies about these problems. If I can help you in any way, please let me know.
Peace to your family and never give up on fighting. You can be sure your son loves you a lot, even being so young.
5 stars to you!
Gangus, my heart goes out to you and your family. I admire your artwork and your courage to push this effort for aid. Your work, as usual, is great.. but the emotion behind it makes it more impactful. You have my support, i wish there was more i could do.. - JAG
it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
Best wishes go out to you and your entire family!
BJÖRN HURRI | CONCEPT ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR
MY PORTFOLIO | HURRICANES DAILY DOODLES '12
MY EXCLUSIVE SKETCHBOOK
VIKING: BATTLE FOR ASGARD
THE OTHER BROTHERS
what a moving illustration! I wish u the best and ur boy, hope he gets well soon.
Wow... Thats a really sad painting. I am sorry, and I wish your son the best.
if anyone wants to help, go to http://www.capwiz.com/pfaw/dbq/offic...e=WI&print=yes and let them know that there are kids missing the window for treatment due to long waiting lists in their state.
state reps pay very close attention to their constituents, and fed reps (senate and the house) have their lines open to any of us.
Good luck with your son man... and our thoughts are with you and your family. At least your son has his wonderful parents to help him through his life and for that he is blessed. I don't understand the American medical system at all, what it's priorities are and why they are that way (greed it seems) but I wish you all the best in navigating it and getting your son the help he needs.
You might also want to check out some of these sites for help:
I don't have any personal experience with the condition BUT I have had GREAT success treating other ailments with alternative therapies. It's worth a shot and I doubt the bill will be as high as the program you're hoping to get your son into.
All the best...
Wacomitis - fear of an empty bank account.
Great image! Best wishes for your son and family.
Ohh hard subject indeed.
Autism is really hard, I wish you and your wife as well as your son ted good luck.
Make the best out of it and maybe your son has a big talent which he can use to get out of this prison.
one never knows.
btw great image!
and yeah i will consider and send it to friends, no problem.
edit: i see that i cannot consider because this is for usa only
Very strong and touching painting :-/
I wish you, your wife and your son good luck, and I truly hope that a proper solution will come along.
edit: I've spread the link to most of my friends, and in some of my regular chatrooms.
Hopefully there will be some kind souls in there who can offer some help.
my thoughts go out to you and your family...
i will post this on myspace to garner more attention...
This is truly a sad thing. Of all your art I've seen, this is the the most emotional for me, probably because of the reality of things.
I wish for the best outcome for your son, and with this whole matter. You definitely have my support.
sad story and I feel for you. My ex girlfriends son could have the same challenges and its a very complicated situation. I wish you the best- this is a great way to express yourself- keep it up- and I am sure it will help you get through whatever challenges await.
wow, Glen this is heavy stuff and I wish you and your son the best. I also commend you for the courage to post something like this publically, it takes alot of guts. It has to be a trying existance for both you and little Ted.
I watched a 20/20 a while back about a girl with autism that they taught to use a hand held device to talk to people. The thoughts she would put together were very detailed and funny. It was also amazing and scary to me that she was whip smart even though she couldn't tie her own shoes. The most touching thing though was the fact that her disablility didn't bother her. She didn't want anyones pity. Amazing girl.
I will write something to your govenor though I hardly know what to say. Good luck to you and you family.
wow I am truly speechless.
The true nature of this site has come out in force. You have touched me deeply with your response.
I am truly in all of your debt. Thank you so much.
Please tell any friends that you have to visit this post
(Only if you are comfortable doing so)
a heartfelt thank you to the people at Conceptart.org and it's members
I symphasise with your situation. I know too well what it is like, and it is very frustrating when nobody is there to help. My little brother is disabled with severe learning difficulties and also has autism.
He never recieved any help when he was younger from the government or local authorities and my mother still struggles to get any help to aid her in caring for him. So I sincerley hope you're not on that waiting list for too long.
The artwork you've produced is really great and shows a lot of emotion, so good job on that.
Like se7en, I really admire your courage to post such a personal and emotional subject here for everyone to see. As is exemplified by history over and over, one or small groups of people have moved mountains~! Best wishes to you and your family ~
And I believe it will be a much stronger piece once the boy's face and figure are much clearer to read as what it is!
Gangus, I know the feeling whole heartedly. While I have no kids, my cousin is autistic. He'll learn to speak and behave as time goes on, trust me. My cousin is smart for being autistic, since it is not severe, but mild. He can remember old moves/game shows/shows, etc and can use the computer very well (probably why we have to go through like 2-3 a year?) Just give it time and encourage him, don't force. Also, attention and patience is a definite must.
About the picture, it is a very moving picture and it expels your, for lack of a better word, worrying. The composition is well done.
Wishing you all the best here. I can't sign any petition-thing, it only applies for US-citizens. Good luck with this.
This is a forum about art, and, fundamentally, art is just another communication vehicle. That you have used your gifts to share something so personal reached out to me in a way that a simple post alone never could have. You should feel no guilt or shame for asking so little from a forum you have given so much to. Perhaps it's because I have a son just a bit younger than Ted, or perhaps just the story you have presented, but the tears certainly welled up when viewing your art.
I've sent the link out to anyone I can think would support it, and a few who might not. Hopefully things improve for you and your family, but my thoughts and prayers are definitely with you.
shit man ... I feel like a total asshole.
I'm really sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. I really hope you get the needed help before time runs out, I really do. Best wishes to you and your family, especially your son.
The artwork is very poignant and very mature - extremely powerful piece. Thank you for sharing it.