he has autism

autismAutism is a developmental disorder of the brain with no known cure. It manifests with different symptoms in every individual and that’s why it’s called a “spectrum disorder.” Autism Spectrum Disorder mainly impacts sensory processing, social skills development and language abilities.

At age five, Max was practically non-verbal, ate a very limited diet of ham, cheese and raspberry juice, didn’t sleep through the night, showed no love or affection, broke his toys, threw things, wandered off without regard to safety and had raging temper tantrums for seemingly  unknown reasons.

By age seven, Max had learned to talk, enjoyed a varied diet (including veggies and fruit) and he was no longer spending 90% of his time in his own little world. He participated in our life, played with toys instead of breaking them, ran around with neighbor kids and was getting ready to start first grade.

Max is now 11 and attends public school, is 100% mainstreamed with no special services (no 504 plan, no IEP). My once non-verbal, “in his own world” son now meets standards in all core subjects. He also plays sports, has friends, gets invited to birthday parties and play dates, hugs me and tells me he loves me, creates cities out of Legos, draws, paints, sings, dances, earns an allowance by doing chores, walks our dogs and enjoys a very typical life. 

photo-54 (2)Max is a miracle.

this is Max too

from planet of cool

 (Max From The Planet Of Cool is a children’s book Max and I wrote, illustrated and published in 2013.)

i'm max's momHi.

I’m McNall Mason

Max’s Mom.

autism changed_me2

In 2010, Max and I began making art together and it turned out so great that we took it around and sold it in galleries and art shows. I did the sewing and Max directed the fabric, design, color choices and embellishments. Together we scavenged around junkyards and beaches for found objects and drift wood  and artists from all over the world sent us boxes of miscellaneous art supplies from their studios.

After our characters were made, Max decided what each one “said” and then we chose a piece of wood to fit both the piece and the saying and I stamped the words. (collaboration at its finest!) It quickly became a fun way to raise awareness for autism while making a little money to buy Legos and teach Max social skills.

iusb_760x100.7424614MAX ‘N ME STUDIO WAS BORN…

Throughout 2010 we participated in fun activities with our art… like an exhibit at the Children’s Museum, exhibits at restaurants and this art show at the DubSea coffee shop…

dub sea flyer2

41041_154055157940063_7740431_n

45113_154055211273391_549239_n

 

and an Art Stroll in Seattle:

(psst… like us on FaceBook to see more photos)

facebook

(see those floating social media icons?)

(click ‘em!)

 

Then in 2012 we started writing and illustrating kids’ books

And began using them to practice philanthropy…social skills…and public speaking…

(we do book readings and speaking engagements and give the book proceeds to charity.)

videoJanuary 2013 we won the KOMO – Brotherton Community Champion Award for our philanthropic business

(and KOMO made a short documentary about us which you can conveniently watch right now!)

At eight, Max told us he was from a different planet…one without girls where all the buildings were made out of concrete, steel and glass and they had moving sidewalks and oceans made out of Hansen’s Mandarin Orange Soda… so, we used that concept to teach Max about Earth and the rules we have here… and the reasons behind the saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do.”

 

 

 

1max max the new kid

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Youtube