Austin Orelli and Tiffany Fuller, Williamsport, Pennsylvania – The Art of Autism is a family run business which started 5 years ago when Austin, now 20 and who has autism, started to bring home drawings and paintings of animals that he had created.
This is part 2 of our interview with both Austin and Tiffany. Part 1 can be read here.
The Art of Autism is a real family business and we were interested to find out who came up with the idea and how the business as a whole works.
Tiffany explained that her mother Jane came up with the idea for the business.
“He (Austin) started bringing these wonderful paintings and drawings home so she got them printed for a fundraiser. It just kind of went from there.”
Tiffany then decided to create a website, Facebook and Twitter and continues to run all of them today.
Tiffany told us that they are at present in the process of changing the name of the business. She also told us that they are always interested in doing fundraisers and that they would love to come over to the UK and have a fundraiser or two.
“It is great for Austin to be able to make his own money. Especially for later in life….as we know autism is not cheap. Services, meds, caretaker if he lives on his own someday are all very expensive.”
She then adds:
“We also love to bring the positives of autism to the forefront.“
We were interested to find out if you could order paintings and other merchandise no matter where you live in the world. Tiffany responded telling us:
“Yes anyone anywhere can order anything. I would love to be able to take things international.”
Autism Daily Newscast asked Tiffany if she could give our readers a message on how to tackle negativity aimed towards an individual with autism.
She told us that the only way to achieve this is to remain positive, even on bad days.
“Try to remember that even though the stranger that is being negative doesn’t see or know it, your child or sibling is special in his or her own way and has their own strengths. And at some point, as with anything in life not just autism, you have to block out what other people say and think.”
She further adds:
“Smile at people while reminding yourself that they do not know you.”
Tiffany told us that the only thing people can do is to just try and keep educating people about autism and to help them in learning to be a little more accepting.
“People are always afraid of what they don’t know. Awareness is key.”
We asked both Tiffany and Austin if there was anything that they would like to share with us.
Tiffany told us:
“The only thing I will add is that Austin is the most cheerful person I’ve ever met. He makes everyone that he encounters in a day happy. He always asks us to smile. When I asked him why he does this he said because he just wants everyone to be happy. I have asked him not to say this to customers when he is at work because a lot of times they don’t understand what he’s saying. So he asked me if it is ok for him to say, ” smile, it’s a beautiful day!” I said that was a perfect thing to say. “
Her final words are:
“He is a wonderful inspiration. I would love to be able to take him all over the world and spread his joy and Art.”
Autism Daily Newscast would like to thank both Tiffany and Austin for sharing their story