Thursday, March 29, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Ella Skye Mac Donald at Townsend Gallery at Black Cap Coffee in Stowe

Townsend Gallery at Black Cap Coffee proudly presents the art work of Ella Skye Mac Donald from April 1st to April 30th. A reception will be held on Friday April 6th from 3-5 pm.

April is "Autism Awareness Month." Autism Spectrum Disorder effects 1 in 110 children worldwide. Autism is a complex disorder of brain development. People with autism can display difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Most obvious signs tend to emerge between 2-3 years of age.

Ella Skye MacDonald was diagnosed with autism at age 3 while living in England. It was around the time of her diagnosis that Ella's family started to realise that her drawings in pre-school were alot different than her peers. Ella and her family returned to the States in 2009 in search of better treatment. Ella is now a second grader at Stowe Elementary School with the help of an amazing full time behavior interventionist and team of teachers and therapists that help with every aspect of her day.

Ella is learning to communicate better with the help of a voice generating device called a DynaVox. In the meantime, a lot of what we learn about Ella comes through her art. Her teachers also use Ella's ability to draw to show them if she comprehended a story. If she gets frustrated and cannot verbally communicate something her aide will ask her to draw it for her. We also know through her drawings that she loves animals, likes to have fun, is happy and has a good sense of humor.

Ella's art is a valuable tool in gaining understanding and narrowing the large social gap between her and her peers. The kids learn that Ella might be very different from them in a lot of ways but she can also draw some pretty cool things. When a classmate wears a t-shirt with one of Ella's designs she usually runs up to them with a big,approving smile.

Ella has a great love of music. Her music taste ranges from Thomas The Train Sing Along to Moby. She loves to ski with the help of Stowe Adaptive Sports and loves walking in the woods.

Black Cap Coffee is located at 144 Main Street in Stowe, VT. Call 802-279-4239 for more