I have enjoyed the privilege of being a volunteer for Kind Tree- a grass roots organization whose volunteers exude loving and passionate support for the autism community- a population severely underestimated and under served. As a watercolor instructor at the summer retreat (a weekend camping and enrichment experience specifically designed for people on the autism spectrum, as well as their families and caregivers), I witnessed the absolute joy that participants had as they splashed beautiful color onto the paper as well as the proud, accomplished feelings they had when their paintings were complete. Watercolor painting is just one of the many exciting workshops and activities offered at the retreat. Sadly, as the class I teach takes place only on Saturday, each year I have had to make the difficult decision whether to participate in this amazing event, or to stay and work as a vendor selling my art at the local Saturday Market. Kind Tree made it possible for me to participate one year by generously offering to pay me a stipend so that my participation in the event would not be a such financial hardship on me. This, to me, was an extraordinary gesture, given that this group operates on such a shoestring budget. It not only showed tremendous support for me as an artist, but also demonstrated the value they place on providing a rich art experience for retreat participants.
I have also enjoyed the pleasure of being a juror for the annual Autism Artism show for which artists from far and wide submit their work. These artists pour their heart and soul into their work and it is incredible that Kind Tree makes it possible for them to display their work professionally in a gallery, as well as to offer it for sale to the public.
The impact this organization has on our community is immeasurable. There is no other organization in our community that serves the autism population the way Kind Tree does. Be it recreation, the arts, or social groups and outings - everyone who wants to participate is welcomed with open arms. As a parent of an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, I am very comforted to know that this supportive community exists, should my own offspring ever desire to participate.
I urge you to support this vital part of our social network that serves a community whose needs are high but whose recognition and acceptance is low. Many people on the autism spectrum (my son being one) slip through the cracks and are not being served through government programs such Developmental Disabilities Services, and, in turn, are not eligible for brokerage services. Kind Tree- Autism Rocks helps to fill a tremendous gap for people acutely in need of social support and who are hard pressed to find it in our society. Not only do they serve individuals on the spectrum, but their gift to this community extends to their families, care givers, and educators, as well as to the general public. I urge you to help keep this incredible volunteer organization alive and thriving by supporting it with your financial backing.
Regarding the camp, it is great, but it needs to be longer and we need to have a day where people can just "hang out." No events, but just where they can relax and chat in their cabins or stim rooom or whatever. I wonder if a nap time would be appropriate. People on the spectrum tire easily and nap. A jam session with T.R. Kelley would be cool. In the pinata, there should no candy with just stim toys. No puzzles, plastic dinosaurs, etc. We could have a day where a shuttle takes us all over to the beach. That would be great. Do we need the same menu exactly every year? Pictures need to be taken more equally of everyone also. Perhaps more entertainers if we stretch this thing into a week. Other than that, it's good. Whoever picked our spot did a great job with that. Keep it up!
Kind Tree has given my son an avenue to explore his artistic talents and to showcase his artwork through their "Autism Artism" program. The thorough and involved volunteers work tirelessly to provide such exposure for these kids. It has given my son a sense of confidence and appreciation not found at our local level. He looks forward every year to participating and sending in his artwork and to see it on the website each year. Their newsletter is outstanding and so informative like non I've ever seen. I love being a part of this "family". They truly are an incredible team of people helping people with disibilities and providing a place to be accepted without question.
Having had the honor of hosting the Inaugural International Naturally Autistic People Awards in Vancouver, B.C. this past October 2010, one of the many impressive people within the industry I had the good fortune of meeting was Mr. Tim Mueller of Kind Tree Productions. Becoming acquainted with both himself, his wife as well as his very generous nature made it abundantly clear that there are more than a few individuals dedicating themselves to making a difference in the world.
Kind Tree is all about assisting, supporting and celebrating the differences in people and building upon their strengths allowing them to flourish! Thank YOU Tim Mueller and Kind Tree Productions for being the example as well as one of many solutions the community now has to turn to.
This a great non profit. Very inclusive of everyone. I love that they provide an opportunity for people who experience autism to be in art shows and sell their art work and the self esteem booster that is for the folks and their families.
The support group for people on the spectrum is extremely helpful.
Their camp is a high light of my year and the lives of all who attend. For a weekend we all play together and families feel supported and not alone. Everyone is accepted no one gets weird looks. Its a dream come true with lots of art projects, swimming and boating, talent shows, concerts, karoke, good food, camp fires, etc. As a volunteer I have so much fun helping out it isn't even work.
I love referring the families with children who have autism that I work with as a social worker about this organization. i can't say enough good about them.
KindTree Productions has actively benefitted a significant number of clients in my agency. For people we serve, access to creative expressions through KindTree is paramount in their overall integration and inclusion in our community. They provide appropriate support, mentoring and activities to a wide range of individuals and are successful in their dreams and pursuits.
Kindtree is the best!!! They have helped promote so many artist with autism and I should know, for I am one of those artists!
They have a "unity through diversity" outlook and outreach program. I'm so glad I live in Oregon, the home of Kindtree. I pray someday all states have such a fantastic arts organization and program to better and enrich the lives of people who are gifted with autism.
Kind Tree Prodpuctions, also known as "Autism Rocks" is a remarkable group of supportive professionals reaching out to high functioning autistic young adults. The support group has cut through the loneliness so many youg adults experience, and the peer discussions of social and workk-related problems is comforting and constructive. It's nice not to be alone! The group also offers Social Skills classes, which are great ways to develop tools that would otherwise be incomprehensible. They practice reacting to different situations, they talk about unspoken ways that non-autistic people interact, something that is hard for autistic folks to understand. The Social Skills classes also involve planning outings as a group, fun ways to interact in a safe, interesting social environment in "the outside world." My nephew has found happiness, friendship, structure, and self-awareness through Autism Rocks. He likes the people and the activities, the play-acting, and the discussions. A lot.
They have a wonderful summer program that I have heard fabulous things about! An opporuntity for families to get together and enjoy a great summer venue, with sensory games, music, great food and laughter.
I have been involved with Kind Tree for over 10 years. They are unique in the respectful exciting manner with which they invite people who experience autism to find their artistic voice. The camps they provide are amazing experiences. Hundreds of people have attended and been relaxed for the first time, free for the first time, appreciated fully for the first time and neurotypical people are allowed to be part of the magic. The art shows bring a powerful and meaningful voice to the artistic community. I have been moved to tears, laughter and learned more about the world by having the privelege to view this art. Many of the pieces live in my memory as a guide post to humanity.
I first came to know about Kindtree Productions Inc., around October 30, 2010 when Sec/treas Tim Mueller was honored in Vancouver, BC at the The Naturally Autistic® People Awards for his Award for Mentorship. I had the priveledge, as an autistic radio show host to speak with him during the post-awards banquet celebration. Within a few weeks, I was So excited about the creativity, hard work & dedication that was enthusiastically produced from this Inaugural event--that I began hearing about my artwork & it's value as an autistic artist. Having faced the endless bargaining & "false promisses" of various scam artists under the umbrella of supposed, publishing companies--It took me many years to find value in my own artwork. That very same artwork was seen by Tim Mueller & within a month's time--I was accepted, encouraged & a published, autistic artist with KindTree Productions, Inc. This devoted non-profit, with much passion & understanding in the field of autism has helped me to regain the self-confidence, escape from the confines of four walls & re-surface. The generosity of the staff at KindTree has by far exceeded any expectations. For the first time in 32 years, I can finally say, "I'm a published, autistic artist!" Without Tim Mueller & his amazing mentorship, I would still be drawing within the confines of my home & the abilities of so many other autistic people would be sacrificed at the hands of false publishers who are for profit. KindTree Productions, Inc. is making it happen--all over the world! I'm so thankful in so many different ways that I can describe in two final words, "Autism Rocks!"
Founder of AmericanAutists.com, Artist Guild Member of KindTree -- Autism Rocks, Radio Show Host, Co-Host of Naturally Autistic® ANCA® Radio & Online Team Contributing Writer.
Kind Tree is a great group that creates art of real value - value for the purchaser/patron and value for the creator. Kind Tree artists create holiday art cards that are beautiful and are the cards you'll want to share, whatever the occasion. The Kind Tree newletter is always full of information and creativity. Go Kind Tree!
Kind Tree Productions, Inc. supports autistic artists to expose their works and sell them to the larger, non-autistic population. As the advocate of one such autistic artist, I have appreciated the opportunities Kind Tree takes to display the artwork, and then to contact the artists annually to report on total sales and to provide commission cheques to every artist for any of their work which has sold in the past year. Receipt of that letter and enclosed cheque is a real boost to self esteem for an autistic individual. Kind Tree also puts on symposiums for parents and professionals and an annual summer camp for autistic children, teens and adults , their families, and/or their support workers. We have attended several of these camps as well over the years, despite the fact that we live 700 miles and 3 states away. I highly recommend this organization.
Kind Tree provides so much for the autism community - it spills over into the general public, like me. I have a granddaughter with autism and these dedicated people bring me news ad fabulous art work from the autism community.
I've been involved with Kind Tree for several years and have appreciated the commitment to people experiencing Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kind Tree provides a variety of venues from which support for the many interests people of all ages have. They celebrate the artists in our Autism Community and serve to encourage creative expression and have provided venues in which to display their art as well as earn some revenue. Kind Tree maintains a well rounded service from which people experiencing Autism Spectrum Disorders can learn social skills, express themselves through art and gain a feeling of respect and value. This organization is unique and innovative toward helping others feel part of a community at large.
We simply ordered some merchandise from KindTree, & they have gone over and beyond to make certain we were happy writing personal emails to us. We love KindTree. I am retired, & in the past worked with people on the Autism Spectrum...aren't we all somewhere on there! This is an exceptional organization. I am so impressed, I hope to find a way to volunteer with this agency.
DeeAnn Darby Bradley & Jason Bradley
Kind-Tree fill a unique role in our community! There are opportunities for camps, informational news letters and a way to market your creations. The truly unique aspect comes for the manner in which Kind Tree interacts, represents and supports individuals on the spectrum. Kind Tree focuses on what individuals with autism can do, helps them realize their potential and even gain a little pride in being a bit self-supporting. (Sadly the world still judges the individual on their ability to earn money.) The positive experiences that can be found are indeed unique!
Since 1997 KindTree - Autism Rocks has worked to provide a safe place for people with autism to be themselves and gain the self confidence we all need to move forward in our lives. Through our unique Autism Camp, our income producing Art Program, our long running Peer Support Group and more, our volunteers support success for people on the autism spectrum.
Friendships are made, families are connected, we all feel refreshed and more able to be in the world.
KindTree - Autism Rocks needs your support to expand our programs and better serve the growing population of people and families that can benefit from what we do together.
Tim Mueller, www.kindtree.org
One day I featured a young autistic artist from Kind Tree Productions in a treasury on ETSY. At the end of the treasury, I went to purchase the young man's artwork, but was too late. Every picture had sold! The next morning, the artist told me he thought there had been a mistake at first because he had nothing in his shop. He was thrilled that people loved his work and a new friendship was born. I was able to order a later picture and was inspired to design a fairy in the artist's color scheme, donating the profits to KindTree Productions, Inc., a charity close to the artist's heart.
KindTree Productions has been our sunshine in a sometimes dark and isolated world. We are parents of an autistic daughter. She has been fortunate enough to have her art recognized by KindTree. This has helped us appreciate the gifts she has been given and not focus on her struggle living with autism.
I hope KindTree continues to get the support it deserves for making such a difference in helping those in the autistic community!