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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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)