“My art is really a voluntary confession
and an attempt to explain
to myself my relationship with life - it is, therefore,
actually a sort of egoism, but I am constantly hoping that
through this I can help others achieve clarity.
'From my rotting body, flowers shall grow, and I am in them, and that is eternity',
Potter P. Emerg Infect Dis, 2011
From a medical and social point of view it is possible to say that artistic expression can be an invaluable help and a preferential channel in rehabilitation and in recovering autistic people as for their neurological, psychic and relational aspects.
In the latest DSM classification by the American Psychiatric Association, autism, previously included among the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs), has been moved from Axis II (long-lasting, stable disorders with unfavourable prognosis) to Axis I (episodic and transitory disorders). This implies that not only has it been recognized that the symptoms of such a disorder may vary and minimize (in contrast with what happens with disorders listed in Axis II), but also –and mainly- that an adequate and personalized rehabilitation may lead to the recovery of the quality of human relations, hence of the social interaction.
Rehabilitation- that is tertiary prevention- especially in the field of Social Medicine, aims in particular at achieving prevention and therefore has the right and the task of monitoring disabilities. This is the reason why we have created ULTRABLU. Indeed, art is an unparalleled element to integrate the world of people with disabilities with the world of those with no disabilities, a tool beyond disability, able to remove all preconceptions that build real barriers between the two abovementioned worlds.
The only requirement to take part in ULTRABLU activities is that the person concerned has a special interest in or a curiosity about art. Creativity has an anatomo-functional basis in the “plasticity” of the central nervous system. Indeed, even in case of serious organic damages, it is able to reorganize itself to develop specific functionalities, if the environment produces adequate stimuli. Bearing this in mind, we could in a certain sense, create people with “disabilities/abilities” or achieve a reduction in the symptoms of the disability by increasing the level of social interaction, i.e. inclusion to all intents and purposes.
Therefore we want ULTRABLU to become a special model of integration and inclusion for people with such disorders.
Dott.ssa Monica Nicoletti