D.J. Svoboda is an autistic artist and motivational speaker who spreads a message of hope that those with autism are special just the way they are. He created The Imagifriends of Imagiville based on experiences he faced as he grew up with autism. We asked D.J. to share some of his wisdom in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month.
Tell us about the Imagiville and The Imagifriends. Why did you create them?
Imagiville is a Big and Gigantic Land where The Imagifriends Live and it is a Place that I have Created in My Imagination where I can escape from all The Bullying that I had Been Through. Imagiville Always Welcomes Everyone for who they are and Imagiville Welcomes all With Autism and Disabilities and Special Needs. In Fact, Imagiville is for Everyone of all Ages and In Imagiville there is NO Teasing. NO Bullying. And NO being Made fun Of.
In Imagiville Everyone is Accepted and Loved for who they are.
The Imagifriends are Loving and Caring and Silly Friends that I have Created based on Very Special Lessons like Kindness, Friendship, Acceptance, Care, Dreaming and Believing Big, Never let Quit or Give Up be an Option, Determination, Believe in Your Very Amazing and Awesome Self and So Much More.
What is the main mission of The Imagifriends?
The Imagifriends actually have 5 major and important Missions. 1. To Spread Autism Acceptance and Autism Inclusion all Around The World. 2. To help the World to Understand that Autism is to be known and to be Understood and Not to be Judged or Criticized in any kind of Bad Way. 3. To spread The Great Power of Teamwork to Put an end and Stop to Bullying. 4. To Spread The Power and Importance of Dreaming and Believing Big. 5. To Spread The Power and Importance of Kindness and Acceptance.
What is your message for children with autism who feel alone or even bullied?
My Message is: Please Remember Always that You are NEVER alone. You are Very Very Important and Very Very Valuable and You Matter a Whole Whole Lot. You have a Great and Amazing and Awesome Place in this World. You can do Great and Amazing and Awesome Things. Your Big Big Dreams can and will Come True. You can make a Great and Amazing and Powerful Difference in This World. If some people cannot like You or Accept You for who You are it is Not Your Fault. Be Your Very Amazing and Very Awesome and Very Incredible Self Always.
How do you think teachers, parents, and friends can help individuals with autism so they do not feel alone or bullied?
Teachers and Parents and Friends can sure Help by Giving Lots of Great encouragement and Lots of Great care. By Helping them to know how Very Very special they sure are and that they can make a Great and Amazing and Awesome Difference in this World and to help them to know that they are NEVER alone. By reminding them how Very Special they are and that No Matter what anybody says they Matter a Whole Whole Lot and to also help them by reminding them that Their Big Big Dream can and will Come true.
To see ASNC’s toolkit on bullying, go to: www.autismsociety-nc.org/toolkits.
Do you have a message you would like to share right now with everyone about children and adults with autism?
My Message is – To all Children and Teens and Adults with Autism – You are all Very Very Special! You are all Very Very Important! You all have a Great and Amazing and Awesome Place in this World! You can make a Great and Amazing and Awesome Difference! Your Big Big Dreams can and will Come True! There is No Such Thing as Impossible or Impossibility! Always be Your Very Amazing and Very Incredible and Very Wonderful Selves! You Are Loved and Very Valuable and You all Matter a Whole Whole Lot and You can bring Lots of Happiness and Lots of Joy and Lots of Great Inspiration to Many Many Others Around The World!!
D.J. Svoboda was diagnosed with autism at age 3 with psychomotor retardation, which included speech delays and issues with his fine motor skills. He found it difficult to even hold a pencil. Today, D.J. is a dynamic, motivational public speaker, accomplished artist and author with three books to his credit: My Imagiville, The Mupperezmo and the Rainbow, and The Inspirations of Imagiville. D.J.’s artwork has been featured in numerous publications and hangs in museums and on the walls of corporations, organizations, and in private homes.
To learn more about D.J., the Imagifriends, and Imagiville, go to: www.myimagiville.com.
Tags: ASNC, autism, autism acceptance, autism advocacy, autism awareness, autism nc, autism north carolina, autism society north carolina, autism society of NC, Autism Society of North Carolina, Autism spectrum, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental disability