A Parent's perspective on autism and the arts
Since Dr. Bartlett’s son John was an infant, music has been a source of fascination and calm for him. Through trial and error, numerous avenues have been explored to facilitate John’s exposure to music. Over the past few years, drama has become a source of enjoyment and empowerment for John as well. Hear an account of personal experiences that exemplify the importance of the arts in the life of children with autism.
Suzanne Bartlett, M.D., FACOG, ABOIM
Integrative Medicine & OB Gyn Physician
Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, IA
Parent of a child with ASD
Cedar Falls, IA
Suzanne Bartlett, M.D. is an OB-Gyn and Integrative Medicine physician from Cedar Falls. She practices integrative medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.
The parent of a 14-year-old son with autism, Dr. Bartlett is past president and current board member of the Autism Society of Iowa, is a member of the Advisory Council for the University of Iowa Autism Center, and has worked with the Iowa Governor’s Autism Council on insurance reform for autism services. She participated in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regional autism summit in 2008 and has attended international and national autism conferences. Dr. Bartlett is currently working to improve educational services in the Cedar Valley as a charter member of the Collaborative Autism Team. She speaks regularly to groups about autism, including training for first responders.
She is the author of an award-winning children’s book about autism called “A Friend Like John, Understanding Autism.” The book is intended for elementary-aged peers of children with autism, and is based on the life and traits of Dr. Bartlett’s son, John.
“A Friend Like John” was chosen as one of two books by the Autism Society of Iowa to disseminate statewide to school and public libraries in 2012. It has also been the recipient of several awards: National Indie Excellence Award, Purple Dragonfly National Book Award, London Book Awards and Los Angeles Book Awards, and has received a recommendation from the U.S. Review of Books.