Delightful Sisters With Autism Are Models for Acceptance
Meet vibrant sisters Teagan and Logan Martin of Ontario, Canada whose shared goal is to spread autism awareness everywhere they go. At eight years old, Teagan has been doing print-work and acted as an autism ambassador since the age of four for Grandview Kids Center while Logan, now four, has followed in her sister’s footsteps since she was a year old.
In this interview, parents Kara Halonen and Gregory Martin share their journey as they work together to change the world, one community at a time.
Tell us about your girls and their accomplishments?
Teagan and Logan are both fully verbal and were diagnosed with severe autism by the age of 22 months. Teagan has a huge love for Ontario/US politics and the news media while her little sister is learning how to toilet train in intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) school. Both of these two beautiful young girls are driven as Teagan has been on five major front cover publications and Logan’s been on two.
Teagan got her biggest start in 2014 with Grandview Kids Center with the “Believe Campaign” and continues to grow and she frequently does updates for Grandview Kids Center as she has taken on the role of being a positive role model and being an ambassador for the “Believe Campaign Project =We Believe” to market, promote and to build “New Grandview Now” within Ajax, Ontario, Canada. Teagan’s work can be seen in five Grandview Kids Annual Report Books, on Grandview Kids banners, newspaper, and media press, promotional ad’s such as McHappy Day for McDonald’s in Oshawa.
Her professional portrait graces the side of a 53″ Mackie transport truck which has been turned into a die-cast toy truck for purchase. Both sisters now participate in the Grandview Kids website as they are Grandview Kids through and through.
Their biggest print-work accomplishment together was in March of 2019 when Teagan and Logan landed the front cover, and they became the feature article of Autism Matters Magazine with a two-page spread as this magazine is Ontario, Canada widespread.
What inspired you to introduce your children with autism to modeling?
Teagan got a taste of modeling and being an ambassador with her work for the Grandview Kids Campaign which she still thoroughly enjoys to this present day. She was asked at the age of six to be on the front cover of Durham Parent Magazine in the May/June 2016 issue with a two-page spread, and they wanted her little sister Logan to join in with her endorsing Autism Awareness Month.
Logan, who at the time had not yet been diagnosed with autism, was already enthusiastically supporting her sister every step of the way. After this issue was released the girls loved seeing themselves in print-work, and what they were representing and they wanted to continue on their modeling journey. Modeling helped them feel comfortable in their own skin and to embrace their abilities. It offered an opportunity to spread autism awareness, acceptance, and diversity.
How has the modeling experience influenced Teagan and Logan?
The confidence and independence these two girls have gained from being positive role models have skyrocketed. Teagan loves to be a leader, a huge social butterfly and to advocate for her little cute smiling sister, Logan. This has helped them so much that they both love and thrive in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and IBI and mainstream yearly public schooling.
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What does the future look like for your girls?
Whatever the bright future holds for these two happy sisters, they hope to inspire one autism family at a time to follow their dreams. These sisters are unstoppable together and have no limits on what they can achieve—autism or not—they are here to encourage the ASD community to follow their dreams and goals! They are here to provide inclusion, encouragement, and inspiration for other girls with autism that just like them they can do whatever they set their mind to do by believing in themselves.
We can only hope that the girls will soar, break down barriers and to continue to grow by making a more diverse range of models with disabilities in advertisement and fashion runway shows.
In continuing with their fashion runway show success, Teagan and Logan can be seen rocking two upcoming fashion runway shows, first up is “Strutting Acceptance Kids Fashion Show for Autism” in April of 2019 put on by “Canadian National Autism Foundation” and followed by the annual “All-Abilities Fashion Show” in October of 2019 put on by “Living Life to the Maks.” They both will be in a featured article in an upcoming fall magazine focusing on going back to school and IBI in the classroom. These two incredible and talent sisters are always in high demand for new and upcoming work to strike a pose for autism awareness!
What are your goals as a family?
To overcome any challenges that we may face no matter how difficult they are and to create a loving and caring home where everyone is loved for who they are. To give the girls a chance to become independent and to choose their own paths. And of course, our main family time goal is to travel to create a lifetime of memories together.
How does it make you feel when you see your girls changing the way people view autism?
It makes us feel proud, elated, successful, positive, upbeat, emotional, determined and confident.
This article was featured in Issue 89 – Solutions for Today and Tomorrow with ASD