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Heart of Autism: Dani's Animation Movement

This Heart of Autism post shares the story of Dani Bowman, an 18-year-old girl on the autism spectrum. Dani, when she was 11 years old, founded an organization called Powerlight Studios, a sole proprietorship, focused on animation, illustration and graphic arts. Autism Speaks Staffer Kerry Magro shares what he has learned about Dani Bowman’s story...

I first found out about Dani Bowman two years ago when I was consulting with Autism Speaks. She was featured in a news item with Joey Travolta's Inclusion Films and Toon Boom Animation to teach animation at several summer camps in 2011. Through this she had the opportunity to work with and teach 150 kids with autism! After reading the article, I was instantly blown away by her passion. To find out that she was on the spectrum made it that much more awe-inspiring.

Dani is one of the most talented individuals I’ve ever learned about on the autism spectrum. Her skills in animation, combined with her advocacy efforts, are unparalleled. Her company, Powerlight Studios, has 8 people working under her direction. A number of those individuals are on the spectrum. Because of her passion for animation she has partnered with Joey Travolta's Inclusion Films and Toon Boom Animation to teach animation at several summer camps in 2011. Through this she taught over 150 kids with autism!

Her story of self-advocacy is unique.It started with a conversation with her aunt 7 years ago. This was during a time she was having difficulty with sensory problems along with speech. Her aunt, who Dani began to live with that year, decided to tell Dani about her diagnosis. With a great amount of work and dedication Dani will be graduating high school this June. She has already reached out to several colleges to further her education.

In addition to Dani successfully finishing high school she has received recognition for her contributions in the autism community. Dani recently received recognition from the International Family Film Festival, naming her as the winner of Best Animation award for her featured short “Mr. Raindrop”.

Aside from her skills as an animator, Dani has many skills as a life-coach and inspirational speaker. Dani spends countless hours at different venues around the country, not only to help individuals with autism but to also educate our society about the world of autism and autistic individuals.

Dani’s heart always seems to be in the right place no matter what she’s doing. On her Powerlight Studios website she says that many with autism can lead fulfilling and successful lives by doing what they love. Through her passions and abilities she wants to change the world's perception of autism while inspiring others to follow their dreams!

For Dani the sky’s the limit for and I wish her the best in her future endeavors. 

The Heart of Autism blog series tells the stories of individuals on the autism spectrum giving back to their community. Click here to read some previous entires!

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The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.