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Autism Light #446 is David Kot.
David Kot is a comic book script writer who founded Face Value Comics, a non-profit which raises autism awareness and featured the world’s first comic book hero with autism. David lives in York, Pennsylvania with his wife Angie and four children. In addition to his own clinical diagnosis as an adult with Asperger’s, his young step-daughter also has autism. David Kot is an Autism Light for his influential efforts to raise autism awareness through his comic book enterprise and as a self-advocate.
The following is a video where David Kot explains how Face Value Comics is intentional about raising autism awareness.
Face Value Comics: David Kot and Angela Kot created Face Value Comics, which was legally incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2011 and is presently a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. According to their website, “Autism at Face Value practises ‘comic awareness’ and employs the use of comic books and educational toys to publicly demystify Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism at Face Value – About Us).”
Some of the accomplishments of Face Value Comics include:
- Introducing the character “Michael” who is the first comic book super hero with autism.
- Having a third party medical journal review their work for their therapeutic value to children.
- Advising the Dover Area School District on new special needs curriculum based on our use of facial feature recognition helps us maintain our non-profit status.
David Kot says,
“Comic book author and pop-icon Stan Lee wrote Spiderman when he was 40 years old. I debuted Face Value Comics #1 a year earlier than my role-model. Since this time, we have been on the nation’s largest news network, reviewed in a medical journal, and outsold some popular titles. Our comic has been nominated and won two international awards for Children’s Literature (Ireland, Canada) and enshrined in the National History of Disability History in New York. We have international print and distribution for our comics. Additionally, we hold the copyright on our work, and are proud to give kids heroes like themselves. In the future, we have many great plans.”
His plans for Face Value Comics in the future include:
- Developing public school special needs curriculum with the Dover Area School District for a net surplus, insulated against legislative budget cuts, and without levying a single dime to the typical taxpayer;
- Sensory-friendly action figures of our heroes, with flexible pieces (i.e. silk cape or wool cape), designed to calm children who play while they play;
- Printing comic books with 3D features, like raised facial expressions to literally feel emotions, which also opens comic books to the low/no-vision community;
- Visiting the U.S. Congressional Autism Caucus by (Mike Doyle’s) invitation;
- Continued issues of comics, including special guest artists and authors;
- Advocating and teaching young people and adults about living with autism; and
- Finishing my doctoral research as my health and time allows.
|Copyright 2016 – Face Value Comics|
Author: To date David Kot has published three comic books labeled Face Value Comics #1, #2, and #3. Face Value Comics #4 is in the production phase.
Ordering Information: You can order print copies of comics by Autism Face Value at their page on Indyplanet. Digital copies, including a pay-what-you-want price option on Issue #1, are available at Drive Thru Comics.
Education: David Kot has the following educational background.
- In 1997 he complicated his undergraduate bachelor of science degrees earning a double major in political science and sociology at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown.
- Since 2006 he has been studying at Capella University. He has earned a Master of Science in Human Services (Psychology) and did his graduate research in Self-funding community clinics to include self-injurious clients, in respect to billing, coding, and clinical interventions.
- David Kot is expected to earn his Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology in 2016 from Capella University. His PhD research focus has been Autism and multicultural, nonverbal communication strategies that promote compassion and empathy.
Blogger: David Kot writes a blog as part of his advocacy on his website. The following two articles are representative of some of the content.
- Our Code of Ethics in Family Friendly Content
- Fiscally-Conservative Self-Funding Public Education Reform for Special Needs’ Students
#WeAut2Vote Campaign: David Kot has been working hard to advocate for making voting accessible to people with autism in the Winter and Spring of 2016. He has solicited the support of ALL Pennsylvania senators and support is growing throughout the United States. His advocacy includes helping individuals with autism to:
- Register to Vote
- Identify their Local Polling Place
- Use Absentee Ballots When Their Disability Prevents Typical Voting Inclusion.
The York Dispatch wrote an article on David Kot’s efforts to get out the autstic vote (Greg Gross, The York Dispatch, March 28, 2016).
Encouragement to those with Asperger’s: David Kot offered these words of encouragement to others with Asperger’s.
“In a world run by neurotypical people (i.e.: people without autism), some comforting words by George Bernard Shaw and the Kennedy family: ‘You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’’ By this, I encourage people living with autism to remember how we brought you a comic book hero with autism, not industry giants like DC or Marvel (Disney) Comics. I am just a guy living in a small town with a dream, limited resources, but with great supports who love and value me as much as any work I have done or may yet do (David Kot).”
David Kot provided this summary of his autism advocacy and his appreciation for people who assist him in shining his light for autism.
“In summary, I hope any other person – with or without autism – may look to what I have done and replicate something similar, for their own advocacy on any number of deeply-concerning social topics that get bypassed by mass media monopolies, and for the benefit of younger readers in the future. One may say that writing a comic book has launched autism advocacy through national news coverage, educational reform based on science with economical responsibility, address of congressional representatives, and review in a legitimate medical journal. Yes- a comic book paved the way. I think about our success as one average guy’s science-fiction story (equally heavy in both parts ‘science’ and ‘fiction’) that makes people believe in fantastic opportunities – in equality – like those events described. I could not have done any of these things without so many long evenings with my wife, Angela, and our artist, Sky Owens. He patiently taught me how to write for comic books, and his thirty years’ experience in the comic book industry shows on the static page. Angela listened to my writings, and offered many great changes from her views as a mother and wife living with autism. She also has a very active imagination! Overall, I am just a man. However, I also have great supports and people who love me. I never thought our comic book would be published in a medical journal before my own doctoral defense. We must never stop believing we deserve good things for ourselves or our children, who need our collective best (David Kot).”
Social Media: You can follow Face Value Comics at the following social media areas.
- Truth Atlas interview with Director Nick Poppy (YouTube)
- Blog by Peter Barnes and the LearnFast Group
- Interview with Hallie Jackson and The NBC Nightly News
- Interview with Dr. Rob Melilo (16:47 minute spot on YouTube)
- Review by Ernst VanBergeijk of the Journal of Autism and Development Delay
- Interview by Nicole D’Andria of The Fuse of Entertainment
Special thanks to David Kot for being an Autism Light through his amazing talent in comic book script. Face Value Comics is an independent company that can offer hope and encouragement to the autism community as well as educate others about this growing group of people in our society. We wish David continued success in his endeavors as a self-advocate and his role as an autism father.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.
The photo of David Kot was used with permission of David Kot. Comic book images are copyright by Autism at Face Value (2016).Read more
Be helpful to one another in the world have love for all Don’t pass burden Don’t give judgement In each relationship doing more the other well and forgive being under dance of being insecure Believe doing well will lead to better world because it will Bad behavior a result of being unloved Love, SarahRead more
John Elder Robison
Footnote: There are many other philanthropists funding autism research, and I mean no disrespect or marginalization to those not mentioned in this article. As many as there are, I stand by the article’s premise that a new “primary need” is emerging in the autism community and we need philanthropy to rally to it..
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult and advocate for people with neurological differences. He’s the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and the forthcoming Switched On. He serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept of Health and Human Services and many other autism-related boards. He’s co-founder of the TCS Auto Program (A school for teens with developmental challenges) and he’s the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The opinions expressed here are his own. There is no warranty expressed or implied. While reading this essay may give you food for thought, actually printing and eating it may make you sick.
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