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A Digital Arts Program for Autistic Individuals

My name is Asher Rottenstrich and I am a 24-year-old college graduate who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at three years old.

After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree, I struggled to secure employment like so many others on the spectrum, but I was firmly determined to never give up. With the help of my father and a strong support team backing me, I launched a digital arts learning business, ASDC.TV, to serve children and adults living with an autism spectrum disorder.

ASDC TV is a new video subscription site for autistic individuals. The website is a digital art lesson center with dozens of interactive videos available to watch and learn on demand. There are multiple video series, each containing several lessons on different topics.

Artistic Spectrum Digital Communications is an animation and visual effects studio for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Based in Northern New Jersey, we serve exceptional minds with untapped potentials. Our core programs include animation, drawing and painting training. Artistic Spectrum Digital Communications is an approved goods and services provider of art lessons through The Division of Developmental Disabilities’ Supports Program (DDDS) in the state of NJ.

Over the years, art has been a constant source of comfort for me to get me through the hard times. I chose this path to offer art lessons to others on the spectrum in hopes that art will provide similar comfort for them. This activity also provides a means for me to express myself to loved ones.

By launching this digital arts program, I want to provide a testimony to others that it is possible to live out your true calling – whether it is starting a business or pursuing another passion – with autism.

In my program, each video lecture includes takeaway lessons from my own life experiences. In addition to learning how to draw and mastering various art techniques, users also receive advice on how to navigate this complex journey of living with an autism spectrum disorder.

The lessons are organized in different series. One example is the Emotion Series, which covers lessons on love, loneliness, and perseverance.

The Futurism in Building Art series is also near and dear to me. This is because it highlights a make-believe world to which many of us escape when life gets hard.

One thing I will note is that the tutorials are kept very simple. I understand that viewers who are watching the videos may share many of the same limitations that I have. For example, instead of drawing outlines from scratch, templates are provided for free. These can be downloaded and printed at the viewer’s discretion.

Now that the website is launched, and the wheels are in motion, all that’s left to do is for customers to get to know what ASDC.TV is all about.

I am hoping to make lasting connections with anyone and everyone in the autism community and I’m hoping that they will help me spread the word. I long for a day when I can live out my true calling, which is teaching art.

Hopefully, if my goals are realized, I can serve as an inspiration for other children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder.

Asher Rottenstrich

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the NLM Family Foundation.

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