Alabama Autism Safety Initiative addresses the need for statewide safety measures:
Faces of Autism Campaign Aims to Rid Stereotypes while Spreading Awareness
Montgomery, Ala.—Disability as an Ability Toward Success: Moms on the Move, also known as D.A.T.S.M.O.M., a 501(c)(3) organization, is proud to announce its Faces of Autism Campaign that raises autism awareness through art.
With a focus on advocacy, D.A.T.S.M.O.M. provides free services, training and support for more than 150 Alabama families with children on the Autism Spectrum. D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Founder Tametria Conner Dantzler created Faces of Autism to help eliminate stereotypes and preconceived notions about children and individuals on the Autism Spectrum.
“People tell me all the time that my son doesn’t look like anything is wrong with him. He doesn’t look like he has autism. Autism doesn’t have a look. There are no distinctive facial features like Down’s Syndrome,” Dantzler said.
Education on autism related issues is a focal point for D.A.T.S.M.O.M. advocacy and leadership trainings. These trainings provide resources, information and support parents need to advocate for their children, helping to shift their child’s disability into an ability.
The campaign’s launch date coincides with the one-year anniversary of D.A.T.S.M.O.M. as an official non-profit organization, being incorporated on February 1st, 2019.
“Faces of Autism is a way to humanize autism through artistry and connect the pieces by sharing educational facts and depicting autism symptoms,” Dantzler said.
Art Director Braxton Barker of Montgomery, Ala. is donating his time and talent to share the stories of 25 D.A.T.S.M.O.M. children. He hopes that shedding light on the different faces of autism will encourage people to not only research autism, but to search within.
“I hope that anyone who sees this campaign will automatically relate in some way. I hope my art work encourages others to share more empathy and realize that love goes a long way,” Barker said.
Barker says he is like many Americans who lack understanding of how autism is affecting millions of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research states 1 in 42 are boys, many being minorities.
“I knew there were a lot of African American boys with autism who didn’t have a voice. I want people to realize that autism can affect anyone. It could be your neighbor, co-worker or family member.
The goal is to compel people to look at the Faces of Autism and to take action to help spread awareness and community inclusion.
Faces of Autism is a part of D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Alabama Autism Safety Initiative. Follow the campaign on Facebook (DATS MOM), Instagram and Twitter (@datsmom). For additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.