Born – April 14, 1995
Amanda LaMunyon was born in Oklahoma. She 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. Amanda sings, shares her art and her story with many charities to help raise money for children’s health. Her greatest desire is to help find the cure and prevention of Autism. By sharing her story through the arts, Amanda has received many awards, including the “Caring Award”, “The Prudential Spirit of Community Award”, “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 President George W. Bush her painting of “Our Flag Was Still There”; former First Lady Nancy Reagan, her portrait painting of President Ronald Reagan; and to First Lady of Nevada Dawn Gibbons her painting of “God Bless the USA”. 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 Sundemm. She has also been featured in numerous magazines and news articles.
“There is an epidemic of Autism in America and in the world. It is important that we as Americans must take the lead to find the cause, cure and prevention of Autism. We have the privilege and freedom in our great country to raise money and speak about our concerns. I have had the privilege of working with Children’s Miracle Network, Autism Speaks, RCM Autism Notebook, The Lili Claire Foundation and other organizations about these concerns. As a national spokesperson I believe I can make a difference. I have been privileged to speak to many organizations about Autism and overcoming challenges. It is my hope to continue to share my story and share my art.”