On Monday, February 16th, 2015, The Tommy Foundation hosted Dave and Angela Kot, creators of Face Value Comics and founders of Autism at Face Value, a non-profit that uses facial feature recognition to reinforce emotional expression. The organizations mission states: “We believe all children have the right to feel safe, wanted, and successful in their homes, schools, and communities. Understanding their own and others’ emotions boosts confidences needed for improved social behaviors. FVC reinforces these beliefs by telling a social story using a comic book for children.”

Dave Kot, who is on the Autism Spectrum himself, was there to perform for a magic show for our families who were in attendance at our monthly support group. The kids were in awe and many were chosen to participate as assistants in some of the magic tricks. After the show, the Zephyr, the world’s first autistic comic hero, was in attendance to pose for pictures with the kids.

Dave gave families a bit more insight into their comic books as well and had copies of both the first and second issue. In the comics, children see characters’ faces drawn on the page to learn about a universal emotion. Speech bubbles give language and vocabulary to match the expressed feelings. Captions and the story help place the emotion in context. Then, we weave an interesting science fiction story appropriate for middle-school aged children and their families. This work literally changes the FACE of Autism. We believe heroes do the right thing because of who they are, not because they have any unique powers. We believe people’s ABILITIES, not (dis)abilities, make them heroes!

To order comics direct, Email: Angie@facevalue.us or wherever comics are sold. Digital copies can be found here.

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