The Sulak Family is a story about autism and hope by Sandra Sulak. The Sulaks live in the small town of Louise, TX and I have been happy to know them for several years. David Sulak is an artist with autism who has been involved with our Artworks program since the early 2000s. He creates detailed drawings and constructions of trucks, cars, and buildings. In 2015, on a trip back from Corpus Christi I got a chance to visit the Sulaks at their home. It was great to see David’s home studio and gallery and to visit with his mother who is always so pleasant on the phone. Getting to know her better, I learned more about the troubles her family went through raising two sons with autism. She mentioned she had a book coming out, which luckily was published just in time to include in our holiday show. I just finished reading it and I recommend it as a quick read and powerful book to gain some insight into one family’s struggles with the school system in the 1970s. A simple farming couple is thrust into a world of medical diagnoses and disability rights legislation in order to secure a good education for two young boys with very different versions of autism. Danny, older than David by 13 months, has anger issues and is placed in a group home. David, negatively affected by his older brother’s behavior, is treated badly in school until lawyers get involved. The book moves swiftly through their schooling and into adulthood where they both become as well adjusted to life as they can thanks to the hard work and determination of their mother, Sandra Sulak.
|The cover of The Sulak Family features a photo of Sandra Sulak, smiling, wearing a white dress with red polka dots, and holding her infant son dressed in a bright red outfit.|
The other album in our shop is This Was Never Meant To Be Permanent by Eric Clow. Eric is our Opening Minds, Opening Doors Project Coordinator. We were all excited when this album came out because we have been listening to Eric perform at our monthly open mic for a few years now and his music is always a big crowd pleaser. This CD contains 8 songs, mostly originals with a few well placed covers. Eric has a unique vocal and playing style that makes you instantly recognize his music when you hear it. His songs are a strange mix of positively upbeat and utterly bleak all at the same time in the same song. His tunes are catchy and make you want to listen again and again. My favorite song on the album is "Whiskey Sours." Here's a sample from his CD:
This book and these two CDs are just a few of the unique works created with talent, love, sweat, and tears by our friends of VSA Texas. We encourage you to come out to our Holiday Art and Gift Show to check out all of the meaningful pieces that our artists put their heart and soul into creating. We are open Monday-Saturday from 10-4 through December 23rd in Room 101 of the AGE Building, entrance at 3707 Home Lane in Austin.
You can hear Michael Noriega play his music at our Meet the Artists Reception this Saturday, December 10th from 1-4 pm. And you can hear Eric and Michael plus other great acts at Library Live: Special Edition featuring Musicians with Disabilities at the Carver Branch Library on Saturday, January 28th from 2-4 pm.