I'm so proud and humbled to have won second place in the #autismsweets contest from Sugar Art For Autism! :0) The following is my description submitted with my cake... I was inspired by several friends who have children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I've watched them grow over the years in so many ways, and I have learned so much and been blessed to have these friends and their children in my life. I was also inspired by the perspective drawings in rainbow colors of students at the Van Detschool in Amsterdam, and I hope that my bottom tier will reflect their beautiful art work.
My cake is full of symbolism.
Beginning at the bottom, I like to think of a rainbow as being a symbol of hope, and I think this is why the perspective drawings resonated with me. The single set of footsteps has a dual meaning. The parent of a child diagnosed often holds the entire family on his/her shoulders (which parent maybe depends on the day!) and never fails to lend support to all with so much strength that never wavers. But the single set of footsteps also reminds us that often times, those diagnosed on the autism spectrum may feel alone, having difficulty fitting in at school or in the community.
The middle tier is the most important to me. I feel that when we look at the one in 68 children, we can see 67 beautiful butterflies. I used wafer paper and colored it to look like a mix of watercolor and crayons, to represent the other 67, beautiful children. These butterflies are of many different beautiful colors, but although each is unique, many times they fit into clear categories, and fall into line, as shown on the cake. But the 1 in 68 is often the most colorful, most unique, and most special. And one does not look like any other, spectrum or no spectrum. Although those diagnosed on the autism spectrum may look different at first glance, when we really see these children, we can see all the gifts they have to offer the world. It must not be forgotten, however, that despite all this beauty, some wings may not ever leave the ground, and for some that do, the path may not be easy or straightforward. I placed the butterfly deliberately, to represent what is many times a struggle to lift, and sometimes an indirect and uncertain path. (I must also add that some children on the spectrum like to line things up in rows, and so, the butterflies are lined up in rows...)
The top tier symbolizes the journey that families face, which many times can be confusing. It also represents the many neuronal pathways in all our brains that science does not fully understand. Finally, a friend looked at the cake and added that "... the squiggly lines show the way the kids feel sometimes but can't express." Finally , the topper is made of two autism puzzle pieces, although they haven't yet found their "fit".
My friend who I've quoted above also commented that she loved "...the lined up and mixed up aspects. That's it in a nutshell."
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be involved! I really can't express how much joy I felt in designing and creating this cake.
SherDelights by Sherri Crohan