CAPS and Art

By Khylil

At the end of my one month training with Community Autism Peer Specialist (CAPS) training, I guess I rediscovered the fact that I went to my creative and more artistic routes. I didn’t think I needed it until I saw how necessary it was to be involved in the training. I used to be pretty decent at art, not the best, but I was REALLY okay with it. I spent most of my training trying to get back in the jump of sketches, calligraphy and abstract drawings. In the CAPS training there was one activity where we were supposed to reflect on what it meant to be a CAPS member, and so I used my art to help me reflect.

So first to go about the reason why I wanted to spend most of the training on an art project, besides the fact that I wanted to draw; I also wanted to show that I had a wide open mind for creativity, and try to show my vision without having to explain it using words. Maybe if I showed some indirect characterization through the art (basically without trying to explain myself), that it would show what I had to offer for when I actually become a peer specialist myself. I was afraid to show this side of myself since I felt that I was kinda bad at it, but when I finally did it, the results really got to me.

The description of my art was supposed to be an attempt on what it means to be a CAPS. I watched a few videos and picked up some terms, which I chose to use to relate to what it means to be a peer specialist. So I ultimately got the point that all you are really doing as a peer specialist is trying to open up the pathway for the person you are mentoring to succeed or open their mind to move forward. I thought I was capable of doing that through my art, and everyone else who saw my art during the training liked it too.

Being the fact that everyone did like the idea for my art was kind of uplifting for me and inspired me to not give up. I’m trying to make sure the same thought goes with me being a CAPS. Making sure that I don’t abandon whatever the person I am mentoring is thinking, because they might not know who else to rely on for things they want to achieve in their future. It also encouraged me to work on my artwork some more!