Music for Autism Announces Candace Chien: 2022 Spotlight Artist

 Music for Autism is excited to announce their 2022 Spotlight Artist, Candace Marie Chien. The spotlight Artist distinction is Music for Autism’s recognition of not just exceptional musicianship but also dedicated service to autistic individuals and their families. “Music for Autism’s message resonates with me as a performer, teacher, and human who lives on the spectrum,” says Candace, who connected with Music for Autism in 2019.

Candace Marie Chien is a graduate of The Juilliard School and performs regularly with chamber groups Alighieri Duo, a violin piano duo, and piano trio Trio Portinari. Her chamber music performances have taken her all over the east coast of the US, Canada, and Sweden, and has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony.

“Music for Autism, thank you for honoring me as your Spotlight Artist of 2022,” says Candace. “And more importantly, thank you for giving me the opportunity to touch the hearts of the neurodivergent community using the language of music. I look forward to many more concerts, hugs, and good cheer!”

Candace reflects on the impact that music had on her childhood, and how those early experiences inform her approach as a performer: “I listened to CDs featuring Chopin’s works constantly on repeat, and thought to myself, ‘if recordings could make me feel my strongest feelings, I cannot wait to become an artist who could make audiences feel that way.’ If I could communicate the unspoken to others, I would never feel alone, or misunderstood, because the music would say it all for me.”

“This news is just a fantastic ray of hope in this new year!! Candace’s artistry and humanity are extraordinary,” says Robert Accordino, US Founder and Chair of the Board of Music for Autism. “We are so lucky, as an organization, to have benefitted and to continue to benefit hugely from them in supporting the families we serve.”

Ryan Gardner, Artist Coordinator for Music for Autism, adds, “We absolutely treasure working with Candance Chien. Not only does she perform so brilliantly, but she is an incredible advocate and supporter of Music for Autism. She is incredibly deserving of this honor.”

Learn more about past Spotlight Artists and join Music for Autism in welcoming Candace to this incredible group of performers. For more information about upcoming concerts, please view the Concert Calendar.

About Music for Autism

Music for Autism is enhancing quality of life and raising public awareness through autism-friendly, interactive concerts developed specifically for individuals with autism and their families. The concerts feature professional musicians, including Tony Award winners, Grammy-nominated classical artists, and Pulitzer Prize winners. To ensure equal access for all, every Music for Autism concert is fully subsidized. Families note that the concerts help fill a major psychosocial void, enabling them to enjoy enriching activities that are inclusive and to experience the joy and power of music as a family.

Music for Autism

Laura Lazar




  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Children & Youth
  • Disability
  • Mental Health
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Philanthropy & Non-profit

Autism Fitness Founder Eric Chessen Speaks at Neoteric’s TechTalks Webinar

 How to run a fitness company that makes an impact?

Neoteric, an international technology leader, specializing in designing and developing online fitness solutions for personal trainers and gym operators, announced their next live event.

The webinar will feature Eric Chessen, the founder of Autism Fitness & a TedX speaker and will cover the topics related to running a socially responsible fitness business.

Date and time: August 3, 2021, 11:30 AM EST

The event is dedicated to fitness entrepreneurs who want to learn how to successfully run a fitness company for a niche group of users and how fitness businesses can make an impact.

During the webinar, Eric Chessen will share the story of building a unique product that supports training athletes with Autism. Together with Darek Kociecki, he will help fitness entrepreneurs understand how they can make their businesses inclusive and support people with various conditions. They will also discuss:

why we need socially responsible fitness businesses

how to build a product that supports people with disabilities

how to scale a product designed to serve a very specific group of users

the challenges of moving to a hybrid model

The webinar is open for registration. A limited number of seats is available.

About Eric Chessen:

Eric Chessen is the Founder & Lead Instructor at Autism Fitness.

Eric has spent nearly two decades developing successful fitness and adapted PE programs for the autism and neuroadaptive populations.

An exercise physiologist with an educational and clinical background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Eric created Autism Fitness which has grown to be the educational and certification leader in the industry.

Eric has spent 18+ years as a consultant and fitness program director for Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. His programs have been featured on Yahoo News, VICE Media, and he has presented at TEDx. He is also the Co-Founder of strength equipment company

About Darek Kociecki:

Darek Kociecki is an experienced business developer who helps companies utilize technology as leverage for growth. As a triathlete and a tech evangelist, he explores the interaction of technology and fitness. As the Head of Growth at Neoteric, he supports fitness businesses in navigating the complex tech landscape. He is the host of the Neoteric Tech Talks series for the fitness industry.


Claudia Słowik




  • Online Education

Canada – World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, 2021

On April 2, 2021, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, issued the following statement to mark World Autism Day.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day – a day to come together to raise awareness about autism, a condition that many Canadians live with. Autism affects how the brain functions, and those on the Autism spectrum have unique strengths and differences in how they communicate, interact with others, and see the world.

On World Autism Awareness Day, we recognize those on the autism spectrum, their families, caregivers, and communities. This year has been exceptionally difficult for many, but particularly so for those who have been managing childcare and home schooling without regular supports during the pandemic. To better support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has invested $10.9 million to create the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Knowledge Exchange (AIDE Canada) Network.

Through AIDE Canada, there are resources available for parents and caregivers of children and youth on the autism spectrum. For example, AIDE Canada provides online access to credible and evidence informed resources for the autism and intellectual disability community. This includes an inventory of services, local programming across the country, and a lending library that is free and open to everyone in Canada.

We also established the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Fund, to support positive health outcomes for those on the autism spectrum. This fund supports innovative community-based projects, which will provide opportunities for Canadians on the autism spectrum, their families and caregivers to gain knowledge, skills and access to resources. Eligible organizations are able to submit funding proposals for new projects until April 16, 2021.

Addressing the complex and diverse needs of people on the autism spectrum requires a coordinated effort with all levels of government and service providers. Our work is led by the experiences of autistic Canadians, families, stakeholders, provinces and territories toward the creation of a national autism strategy. On behalf of PHAC, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences is leading a broad and inclusive public consultation that will inform the Strategy. We want to hear from you, to ensure that all voices and interests are included, especially those with lived experience, their families and caregivers. To get involved in the consultations, visit this website to learn more.

With the right information and support, individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and caregivers can thrive. On World Autism Awareness Day, I encourage everyone to learn more about autism and how we can support the diverse needs.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Health