artcomp_mainPEOPLE of all ages with autism are being given a chance to show off their creative talents by entering a new national competition focusing on art and technology.

The competition is being organised to coincide with AuTech 2015, a national conference that will explore how people with autism can benefit from new technologies.

Organiser Dave Smith from Wirral Autistic Society, said: “When you put art and technology together, the sky’s the limit.

“How about making a model animal out of cables and circuit boards, crocheting a space ship, sculpting a robot out of clay, sketching a futuristic car or building a paper mache jet engine.

“Or you could use the latest computer software to create a unique artwork or even copy a Van Gogh.

“People with autism enjoy art because there’s never a right or a wrong answer. They can be free to express themselves without fear of being different. In fact, differences, quirks and special interests are celebrated in an artistic environment. It’ll be the same with our competition.”

Art therapists note that people with autism who take part in one-to-one sessions can experience many benefits. Some are practical – their fine motor skills can be improved through the concentrated use of their hands. However, they can also learn how to think symbolically and tap into their imaginations.

Dave added: “Some people I’ve worked with have a magnificent artistic talent, but the majority need to be motivated and encouraged by highly trained staff. Whatever the ability level, it’s a calming, relaxing experience, allowing people to work at their own pace and express themselves.”

There will be prizes in five categories – under 11; 11-15; 16-18; and over 18

How to enter:

Photos, scans or links to the artwork should be emailed to by August 21. Applicants can also post their photos or scans to:

Dave Smith/AuTech, Wirral Centre for Autism, 6 Tebay Road, Bromborough, Wirral, CH62 3PA

Entrants should also include a completed information sheet, which can be downloaded from:

Shortlisted applicants will be informed by September 4 and their artwork will be displayed at the conference, when final judging will take place.

The competition will be judged by autism champion and art patron Dame Stephanie Shirley.

AuTech 2015 takes place at Old Trafford stadium, Manchester, on October 1.

Wirral Autistic Society, tel 0151 334 7510

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