Autism and a mother’s journey through art, with suzy Radonsky Kohout

Suzy Radonsky Kohout talks about Autism, art and motherhood on Imperfect Parenting Podcast with Ariel Andersson.

Amazing special only for IP Listeners!:) It’s true:)

GO TO “THE ALAMEDA ARTWORKS” TO SEE Suzy and 33 other artists beautiful work

Mention “IMPERFECT PARENTING PODCAST” to SUZY when you visit her and GET A SMALL GIFT OF COLOR, while supplies last:). And, if you are ready to go for an original piece of her art, you will as well get a special listener discount! Hope you will be lucky and catch one of her pieces:).

Landing: On the spectrum

Who will speak the truth? Friends, neighbors, school teachers, family, or who?

In the beginning, there is the struggle. Not knowing what is happening, floating around, the intensity and nowhere to land, then finally all unfolds and you are relieved. Yet, at the same time a whole new phase begins, a new road full of so many unknowns and puzzle pieces that have yet to find their places.

In Suzy’s case, it was someone at the pre-school. What a blessing to finally have some answers.

How do parents find the resources they need?

Testing, information and connecting to Resources

It’s wonderful that Stanford University offers testing, yet as well it be great if they also offered a full view of what services are available. Is there an NGO that could connect with them and be the resource parents need. To help guide them to services that they can afford, or that the state will pay for? Are there one-stop organizations with all the information at the ready? Anyone out there know? The unknown and finding the best way through for your child seems to top out as one of the most challenging pieces. Of course, bottom line is “understanding” and “empathy”, learning to gauge situations, places and so on to better your child’s (and your) experiences of the world and life itself.

Viewing the world through autistism’s eyes

Suddenly, the parenting job that you had before that was intense and full on, doubles or quadrouples in strength and energy required. Now, you have to assess each situation as you get there. Viewing the world through your child’s eyes, feeling as they feel and doing your best to avert any dramatic moments that will untether your child from one moment to the next.

Blue, Paul from “Faces of Autism” Series, created by Suzy K, showing at Silicon Valley Open Studios, at the Alameda Art Studio, May 2019 -Imperfect Parenting Podcast.

Shapes, colors, patterns, everything is a bit different to what we know, off the spectrum. Suzy’s description of Paul’s world of only blue, or viewing the climbing ropes as a bunch of squares, instead of a ladder, or his view of how things connect made me think of my experience through Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch series. Yes, likely not all was accurate and was Hollywoodized, but, there were aspects which helped remind me of a different reality.

Spectrum communication and experience of the world

I have a friend, Lana, from Brazil. For a while she lived in New York and was working with Autistic kids at the Omega Institute. I remember meeting here one warm day in the Catskills as we spoke about her work and I was quite blown away. She spoke about how they discovered that often kids were overwhelmed by the world, heightened senses and would often use telepathy to communicate with people around. So, for the every day eye, it seems they weren’t communicating, yet they realized, in fact they were. Now, not all kids are this extreme, that they don’t talk at all. Yet, what if in those moments when they aren’t speaking, they are talking with you:). That made me think.

Empathizing. Can you feel what I feel?

As well, there are days when all of us feel especially sensitive and might be able to get a taste of their world. Have you ever had allergies, pms, a hang over or a migraine headache? Suddenly the world is too loud, too bright, you feel as though you are being accosted through all senses of smell, sounds, light and so on. Imagine.. if every day felt like this when in busy places, cities and so on. Imagine trying to be in a chaotic classroom and feeling like this. For me, this is what I think of.

Now, add the layers of different vision of things. Seeing shapes or colors instead of a photo or someone. Or, what would the world look like if you only saw blue? Impossible to fully imagine. I myself only experienced something like this when I had a head injury. I had to re-train my brain to see things as we are “expected to”, when really I often only saw color and absolutely different things than what was in front of me. It’s actually as I write that I think of it. I noticed this only one other time when I was working with a woman who had Alzheimer’s, but I digress. This thinking is what Suzy worked through as she reconnected to her art

Suzy’s journey through autism and back to her art

Remember what makes you laugh with Suzy Radonsky Kohout’s dog tongue – Silicon Valley Open Studios – Imperfect Parenting Podcast

Amidst this incredible journey within the family, Suzy realized her need to come back to art for both the understanding of what Paul was/is living with as well for her own grounding of self and realities around. It is too easy to get lost in it all. How incredible that Suzy found her way to deeper understanding of not only what her son was experiencing, yet remembering laughter with her dog and connection to her own grounding and heart and mom space needed just for her. When you hear the story on the podcast of how everything came together, you know immediately that she is clearly meant to be on this path.

The signs remind you, you are on the right path

As anyone is making decisions along the way, signs sure help a parent feel better and know that alignment is in progress. When things come together in a magical way, with the serendipitous magic that one can only dream of, you know that slowly, but surely things are as aligning and your path is being laid before you.

The blue of Paul’s world and painting turning out to be the theme of Autism recognition Day? International Autism Awareness Day/World Awareness Day also blue? Yes! The studio that never has open space, suddenly opens to Suzy, just in the moment she most needs it and is drawn in that direction? Magic. Serendipity. Destiny. Helping angels? Whatever we believe in.. it was certainly happening and I hope continues to happen as Suzy re-opens her connection to art continues to create.

Prague.. where magic happens at every turn and where Ariel Andersson last saw Suzy’s artwork! Imperfect Parenting Podcast

What about me? When you have other non-spectrum kids

Allowing each of your kids time to shine on their own is essential amidst the intensity that comes with a spectrum kid in the house.

The trickiest part of having kids in the family who need some extra attention is that the other kids often have to accommodate or stand back, or in this case, the little brother of Paul, Lukaš was even acting and shadowing his big brother’s behavior. I can only imagine how hard that must be for parents to suddenly have more than one autistic kid in the house. Thankfully, Suzy got little Lukaš into a program where he got to be his own self and she could see his true personality bursting through. I never really thought about how much the littles follow and act like their older siblings and how that might ripple out. Wow! All of you out there. You are amazing! We know you are doing your best.

Getting real and talking about feelings and the whole picture

Sneak peek at Suzy’s next painting! This is in progress, right now at “The Alameda Artworks” Come see May 18-19, 2019 – Imperfect Parenting Podcast

I really felt Suzy when she talked about her high dream for others on a similar journey. That people could find their way to talking about what is going on in their world. She is on her own journey and it’s still evolving and the art is a big piece of that. As well as the “feelings” around all that is real with an autistic or spectrum kid in the house and life. The beauty and intensity. The energy and focus required. And, how to find your way and as well not get lost in it all.

“Talk about it.” I know, easier said than done, sometimes. And, this is why finding “your community” is essential for existence and keeping it together and sharing ideas, thoughts and resources.

Come join the fun! Connect! Be inspired!

How to find Suzy?

Come to Suzy’s art opening! The Alameda Artworks, May 18-19, 2019 will bring you to 33 artists, including Suzy.

Remember…. Listener appreciation.. supporting an Imperfectly Wonderful and Creative mom! Get your special deal opening weekend and if lucky, after too!

*Show up and mention Imperfect Parenting and get a free piece of Suzy’s art of one of and a discount on an original piece of her art if you are inspired to become a patron or new collector. “while supplies last!”

You can also, find Suzy on her webpage!

Mindfulness practice connected to understanding spectrum kids:

Eyes, open, walk outside and breathe into shifting your perspective to experience the intensity of all that your senses are experiencing. What noises, movement, people talking, sun light, the shapes around, that if you didn’t know what they were, might look very different to you. Imagine if this feeling was multiplied by 20? How would it feel to be in the world?

Question of the day:

What tips and tricks work best for you or your friends/family who have spectrum kids? How do they ground their kids when out in the world?

A few of our favorite things for Spectrum kids:

Suzy and Paul like Picasso tiles to create at home and tops and fidgets when out at restaurants and such.

As well, doing “wheel barrel” wherever they are (yes the one where you grab one leg and walk your kids around), works wonders to ground Paul when he most needs it! Really!

REMEMBER: here is a special something waiting just for you, while supplies last!


* Mention “Imperfect Parenting Podcast” and receive a free bit of color and art from Suzy, while supplies last. + A discount on her original artwork! Amazing!

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