Amanda LaMunyon began painting when she was 7 years old. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 8. She began reading at the age of 4. In kindergarten she drew all her ABCs instead of cutting out pictures for them. This would be the first sign of Amanda’s artistic ability She had a difficult time staying in school.
Her teachers said she could repeat all the rules but could not seem to apply them. She was a happy little girl but her spirit began to wane because of her seeming inability to fit in. Her art changed everything. Her spirit began to flourish once again. No longer did her peers see her only as a rowdy little girl who would not sit still, but now as an artist. She began to express herself through painting. Amanda loves to sing. At age 9, she began to paint her impression of the songs she loves. She says that she can share her faith through her art and that she wants to encourage others with learning difference or challenges in their lives not to give up, but to dream big dreams.
Because of her desire to encourage others, Amanda has emerged from an inward world to a world of giving and caring. She has become a prolific speaker about the “world of Autism” that she lives in. By sharing her story through the arts, Amanda has received many awards, including “The Prudential Spirit of Community Award”,
“Kohl’s Kids Who Care” “The President’s Daily Points of Light”, “The President’s Volunteer Service Award”, “Outstanding Individual with Autism of the Year” with ASA, The National American Miss “National Volunteer Service Award” and the ” Yes I Can Award”, CEC. She was honored before the Oklahoma State Senate.
She has been honored to give paintings to President George W. Bush, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and to First Lady of Nevada Dawn Gibbons. Amanda has been included in the books: “Islands of Genius”, by Dr. Darold Treffert, “The Art of Autism”, by Debbie Hosseini , “Drawing Autism”, by Jill Mullin, “Girls Under the Umbrella of the Autism Spectrum” by Dr. Ernsperger and Danielle Wendell (her painting graced the cover of this book) , “”A Girl’s Guide to Achieving in the Arts” by Dr. Kristen Stephens, and Dr. Frances Karnes and “Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Character: Choices That Matter Around the World” by Garth Sundem. She has also been featured in numerous magazines and news articles. Recently, Amanda was featured on “The Today Show”, NBC, with Megyn Kelly.
“ We have the privilege and freedom in our great country to speak about our concerns. I have had the privilege to speak about Autism and overcoming challenges. I have shared my art and story with Strokes of Genius, Inc, Children’s Miracle Network, Autism Speaks, The Lili Claire Foundation, The Art of Autism and other organizations. As a national spokesperson I believe I can make a difference. It is my hope to continue to share my art and my story. ”