A Nonverbal Autistic Girl amazes Everyone when given a Canvas

Candace Waters -Nonverbal Autistic Artist

by Leslie Burby

When Candace was a toddler she was progressing at a normal rate. Her parents Sandy and Rob report that she was speaking 25 words and then all of a sudden she lost her speech and all her motor skills between two and a half and three years of age.  When she was three, she was diagnosed with a severe form of autism and started services to rebuild her fine motor skills.  They were devastated and had no idea what autism entailed.

Autistic Girl Canvas Art

So when Diana, of Soaring Eagle Academy School asked Candace’s parent’s to have her do a painting to raise funds for the newly built autism specific school at six years old they weren’t sure painting was possible with her limited motor skills. However, since the school supplied the canvas and supplies they figured it would be worth a try.

To their amazement, their daughter produced a beautiful painting of a sun, which they attribute to them singing to her.  Candace loves music just as her parents do, but now they learned Candace loved to paint and had a new activity to enjoy with their daughter.  That first painting of the sun sold at the fundraising auction for $100.  Sandy and Rob Waters were amazed and proud of their little girl.

Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic Artist          Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic Artist

Candace (or more commonly known as Candy) just turned thirteen years old this September and has sold many paintings since that first sun.  Now her prints are for sale on http://www.kindtree.org/marketplace/artists/candace-waters as notecards or reprints; they hang in Park Ridge City Hall, Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski’s Chicago Office and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s Chicago Office; and are featured in the books Artism: The Art Of Autism and The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions. Also, Something Special Magazine featured Candy’s art on their Winter 2013 cover and the University of California, Irvine Magazine featured Candy’s “Mr. Sun” painting on the cover of their summer 2013 issue to shed light on their efforts to help those affected by autism. Candy has been featured in several news broadcasts as well. In addition to this list of achievements, the Waters are very excited and honored to hear that Candy’s artwork and bio will soon be displayed at the new Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College for adults with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental delays to help transition them from high school to functional adulthood to read more about the new transitional school click here http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-02-07/health/fl-dan-marino-vocational-campus-20120207_1_developmentally-disabled-students-plans-downtown-marino-foundation. Half of the sales from Candy’s artwork is donated to helping autism related organizations such as: Autism Speaks, Kindtree (which helps artists), Soaring Eagle Academy http://soaringeagleacademy.org/index.php, and Erik’s Ranch http://www.eriksranch.org/. It is undeniable that this little girl from Illinois has made a big impact and reached many people.

Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic Artist      Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic Artist

In an effort to help other parents, Sandy and Rob Waters started an Autism Awareness Radio Show “The Candy Store” on Blog Talk Radio.  The Radio Show is named after Candace who we nicknamed “Candy.”  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thecandystore Their goal is to increase autism awareness and compassion and to empower other parents with knowledge. They reach out to other parents who have children with autism to let them know that they are not alone and never give up “Faith, Love & Hope!” Here is a link to the song that Sandy and Rob Waters wrote to inspire people https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFK02rXi4Fc.

Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic Artist

Sandy and Rob Waters have made it clear that although they admittedly knew nothing about autism when their daughter was diagnosed ten years ago, that they are determined to educate, raise awareness, and instill faith, love and hope.  There is no denying that they love their daughter and feel truly blessed to have found an alternate means of communication through the use of art and music.  The Waters say that painting brings joy to Candy, which makes them happy.  Sandy Waters lives by her saying, “When words fail, music and art speak even if your child is non-verbal just be patient and love.”

  Candace Waters Nonverbal Autistic ArtistThey say that Candy smiles every time she gets a “Like” on Facebook so please “Like” her page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candy-Waters-Autism-Artist/559925447386478. To watch Candy paint you can click on the You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bso4a3CshTA&feature=youtu.be “Balloons” Print notecard from http://www.kindtree.org/marketplace/designs/48     For more ways to reach out to the Waters http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Waters/1063620297 http://www.myspace.com/sandywaters http://twitter.com/zztop62 [email protected] Sources: Rob and Sandy Waters phone interview http://www.kindtree.org/marketplace/artists/candace-waters http://geekclubbooks.com/2013/08/candace-waters-autism-artist/

Autism Parenting Magazine tries to deliver honest, unbiased reviews, resources, and advice, but please note that due to the variety of capabilities of people on the spectrum, information cannot be guaranteed by the magazine or its writers. Medical content, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained within is never intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read within.

Leslie Burby

Leslie Burby

Leslie Burby is a former Editor of Autism Parenting Magazine and a public speaker on autism related issues. She is the author of three autism related books: Emotional Mastery for Adult's with Autism (2013); Early Signs of Autism in Toddlers, Infants and Babies (2014); and the children's book Grace Figures Out School (2014).

  • Avatar Sallie O. Elkordy says:

    Candy Waters’ artwork brings me joy. She is inspiring me to try to be an artist as well. For our Christmas Party this year, I distributed copies of her artwork to the 50 or so people who attended. I have 3 favorite pieces, but like many more than those. Thank you for this article.

  • Avatar Sally says:

    What happened I between 2 and 3 years? Could it be a result of vaccinations? Many children step into autism from vaccines…

    • Avatar Alice says:

      It has been proven that vaccines don’t cause Autism. The cause is unknown. Even Autism Speaks went on TV in commercials saying the same thing. Actually Candy doesn’t have Autism, but Childhood Disintegrative Disorder where a child begin to lose his or hers speech, Social skills, bladder, bowel control, Play and motor skills at least the first 2 or 3 years. And in the case of Candy I need to add the fact that she is unable to walk as well. So yes Candy is more severe than I even realized after I started researching this more.

      Candy Waters and Bob and Suzanne Wright’s grandson are the only 2 children that I know has CDD which is a rare condition that mimics Autism. But the Wright’s grandson wasn’t quite as severe and apparently has improved quite a bit through proper therapy.

  • Avatar T says:

    Sounds like a vaccination injury to me. If that is a possibility you should try to raise awareness of that as well.

  • Avatar Kristen Dekker says:

    Has anyone seen Candy paint ?
    I have questions that Sandy her mother neglected to answer and instead blocked me and as we are in many of the same art groups on Facebook I found her reaction odd .
    I’ve seen video of Candy paint and its hard for me to believe that she is behind these paintings . The videohttp://youtu.be/bso4a3CshTA is posted on Sandys YouTube channel

  • Avatar Ragina P says:

    I tried to watch the video of Candy painting and its private….. Seems fishy to me. I’d be posting videos of her painting all over the place if this was my kid, instead we see still photos that aren’t anything like the products they sell…. Hate to complain but let’s see some proof

  • Avatar Charles says:

    I really wanted to believe this challenged young lady was really doing the art that was being sold. But it is easy to see that the parents are spamming their merchandise everywhere and probably making a fortune off of that girl’s disability. There are no videos or proof that she is the one doing the art that can be found anywhere on the internet. None, not even one. That should be a big red flag. It’s strange and something seems fishy about it. Hate to be a skeptic, but this one seems like a fake. Buyer beware.

  • Avatar Cory says:

    I cannot view the videos either, are private.

  • Avatar PJ says:

    Did Autism Parenting Magazine vet this family before featuring them? I’ve seen Sandy behave in a way that makes me suspicious. She’s posted advertisements in medical support groups that I belong to, and when I asked if she had the same disease I have, she blocked me. This should not have been a threatening question. After watching a video of Candy painting, I think it’s pretty obvious what conclusion one can draw. So what is really going on? How is this family able to garner SO MUCH attention? How is it that so many media outlets are that naive?

  • Avatar T. Teller says:

    This is a total scam. The parents have recently posted videos of the child painting and the is NO WAY she was producing the delicate work they’ve been selling for years. Frauds.

  • Avatar Sandy Waters says:

    My daughter Candy is being Cyberbullied by a Liar/Stalker who is extremely disturbed and jealous of Candy’s popularity and talent. Please report this person and block them because they are using many fake identities. This person wants attention so please just ignore them. Do not click on any links that they send you because they are a computer virus. Thank you!! Faith, Love & Hope 🙂

    • Avatar Tina says:

      No one is harassing or bullying Candy. People ate asking legitimate questions that you refuse to answer, Mrs. Waters and block those who do.

    • Avatar Alice says:

      You just don’t want others to know the truth, Sandy Waters. We have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a fraud and is exploiting your severely Autistic daughter for monetary gain.

      We know you do the artwork and try to convince us that Candy did it. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this even on your own facebook page when comparing those intricate designs, overlays and circles to what Candy is painting in those videos full of edits and heavy manipulation of Candy’s paintings.

  • Avatar Bob Westover says:

    This could be a violation under the Federal Trade Commission to misrepresent products.

    I would file complaint to the FTC to investigate their claims

  • Avatar Bob says:

    Based on what I have seen, it appears that the mother may be a scammer. The best way to deal with this is to report this to the sites where the alleged fake art is being sold, and to contact all organizations that may have been deceived into doing positive news stories or articles.

    I doubt they are making a whole lot of money on this, but then again, I doubt it is insignificant as the mother would not even respond, much less with invective, if these comments were not hurting her pocketbook.

    The primary concern should be whether the child is being adequately cared for. IN this regard, we can only speculate.

    Perhaps the best way to do this would simply be to provide the local child welfare offices where she lives copies of everything on the internet which suggests this may be a scam, along with a comment that you have concerns. Then it will be up officials to determine whether these concerns are worthy of investigation.

  • Avatar Thanh Nguyen says:

    How sad for this girl that her parents are exploiting her by selling art that they make themselves and then lying by saying she paints the art. She paints splodgy dots and blobs, but that isn’t what the parents are selling on their web stores.

    What’s worse is how they could clear up all the confusion and questions by just posting a simple video of the girl painting from start to finish, with no edits or jump cuts or mystery hands making strokes out of the camera lens’ range, if they really wanted to prove she was doing the painting. It would be a very simple and direct solution. In ten years, there is not even one video of the girl painting the art they sell with the birds and suns. Excuse after excuse from these parents, along with editing tricks and defensive behaviour.

    It is a very different style from what the girl is able to paint on her own. Instead, the Waters parents attack everyone and then say anyone who asks questions is a liar or a fake profile, or a cyberbully with mental illness attacking their special needs family. Even though many of the people who are asking questions have special needs children themselves, which doesn’t even make sense.

    Everyone feels sad for this sweet girl, who is now approaching adulthood. She is no longer 6 years old, like the parents keep portraying in their marketing. Everyone loves her for who she is naturally and wants to save her from her parents’ lies and scams. The Waters are lying sinners bearing false witness who will have to face their crimes of dishonesty. The truth always comes out, eventually.

    There are now thousands of people who care about Candy Waters and want to see justice for her. A simple internet search proves this if you search for “candy waters art scam”.

    PROVERBS 21:6 in the BIBLE forbids the attainment of money through lies and deception.
    Clear your conscience and confess your sins to the proper authorities, Waters parents. Stop your scam and stop accepting money for fraudulent art that your child didn’t make.

    Faith, love, and hope means practicing it in honesty and not deception of any kind.

  • Avatar TreeHugger says:

    I suggest everyone read this blog http://www.candywaters.com. Search Google and Facebook. Look at the videos then look look at the art sold.

  • Avatar Alice says:

    Sandy AKA Tom Bat, instead of libeling us trying to destroy other people’s online businesses and insulting us by smearing us all over the Internet, you should be proving to us that your daughter really did do the designs sold on Zazzle. All you have to do is make a very short unedited video of Candy painting a wavy line coming from one of her blotches. How about a circle or even half circle. Your daughter should be able to do these simple designs without any problems if she really is the artist behind those designs sold on Zazzle. Until you do a short unedited video, people will never leave you alone because the designs you claim Candy does will always be suspect.

    I hope you see the errors of your ways. No good will ever come out of this scam you got going. And I sure hope you and your husband get some help for your severe denial issues. Don’t let these denial issues consume the both of you.

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