Impressionist artist Amanda LaMunyon has grown up with the goal of raising awareness for autism causes. At the age of 8 she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, this syndrome varies per individual. It commonly affects social skills and behavior. As a release for creativity Amanda began painting at the age of 7. She currently sells her artwork with a portion of the proceeds going to raise money for improving the lives of children with autism. LaMunyon also enjoys public speaking and singing.
LaMunyon has participated in fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network, Autism Speaks, RCM Autism Notebook, Strokes of Genius, and the Lillie Claire Foundation. She has performed with Leona Mitchell for the McCarton Foundation at Carnegie Hall. At the age of 12 LaMunyon addressed the United Nations during the inaugural World Autism Awareness Day with Strokes of Genius and Autism Speaks with a poem, “A Little Secret,” she had written.
She has received numerous awards for her willingness to raise autism awareness around the world. She received the Caring Award, the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, the Presidents Daily Points of Light and Volunteer Service Award. In 2008 LaMunyon was presented with the Outstanding Individual with Autism of the Year as well as the National American Miss National Volunteer Service award. She was honored by the Oklahoma State Senate as well as receiving the Yes, I Can award honoring children and youth with exceptionalities who shine. CVS Pharmacy chose LaMunyon as a finalist in the 2010 All Kids Can Create campaign. As a finalist her artwork was displayed in a national exhibition. LaMunyon is currently a Genius of Autism honoree and was featured in a piece by The Huffington Post showcasing young artists.
She also participated in events in New York City. Training the Talent with Temple Grandin and Dr. Rosa Martinez and Strokes of Genius at Pace University and an art exhibit at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, benefitting the OASIS program at Pace University and “ Through My Eyes” Art Exhibit at the 14th Street. Also, will have a private showing through the Port Authority Of New York.
Paintings Amanda created have been featured nationally. She presented former President George W. Bush with a painting titled “Our Flag was Still There”; as well as gifted former First Lady Nancy Reagan a portrait of Late Former President Ronald Reagan. The First Lady of Nevada, Dawn Gibbons, was given her chalk painting “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Amanda LaMunyon has been featured in books discussing her talents including works by Dr. Darold Treffert Islands of Genius; The Art of Autism by Debbie Hossenini ; Drawing Autism written by Jill Mullin; Girls Under the Umbrella of Autism Spectrum by Dr. Ernsperger and Danielle Wendell; and A Girls Guide to Achieving in the Arts by Drs. Kristen Stephens and Francis Karnes.
Amanda is currently attending college. She hopes to get a degree in Psychology, specializing in Autism/Asperger's, so she can help others on the Spectrum.