Park Ridge's (Il, USA) Candy Girl


Candy Coverage Page

This page is about some press coverage of Candy Waters

This is the Candy Coverage page of my website: -

Autistic girl's paintings benefit charity (Chicago Tribune, 16th July 2013)

Worth A Thousand Words (Chicago Journal, Online, 24th July 2013)

Special needs child an award-winning artist, fund raiser (The Bugle -31st July 2013)

Non-verbal girl with autism creates amazing art for good cause ( FOX 32 -

This page is about some press coverage of Candy Waters

This is the Candy Coverage page of my website.

Autistic girl's paintings benefit charity

Amid highs and lows, her art skills offer her relief - July 16, 2013|By Bob Chiarito, Special to the Tribune

Park Ridge resident Candace Waters, 12, has gained admirers for her paintings from all over the world. (Handout, The Waters family)

To Candace Waters of Park Ridge, painting offers some relief from autism. To admirers all over the world, her paintings are valuable, fetching hundreds of dollars. And to autism charities, who get half of what the art sells for, it offers a chance to raise awareness of the disease.

After being diagnosed with autism at age 21/2, and regressing from using a toddler's vocabulary to saying virtually nothing, Candy, as she's known, and her parents, Robert and Sandy, have traveled a road of highs and lows. (for more on article see original piece - feature article is very long). and from Chicago Journal Online

Worth A Thousand Words

At Work: - Candace Waters expresses herself through painting.

Candy At Work

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:19 PM

By DENISE FLEISCHER Lifestyle Editor |

Candace Waters of Park Ridge is a redheaded 12 year old who expresses herself through painting.

Her autism has made her non-verbal, but the vibrant colors she chooses, the way her paintbrush glides on the canvas---that's how she expresses herself.

Waters, a student of Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago Therapeutic School and Center, sits outside with her parents at a patio table when she’s ready to paint. This is all part of a creative activity inspired by Deanna Tyrpak, owner of Soaring Eagle Academy in Burr Ridge. Tyrpak, who has a daughter with autism, suggested that the Waters provide Candace, when she was 6 years old, with art supplies to see if she could paint.

“We didn't think she could,” said Candice’s father, Robert. “Her motor skills weren't that great. But we were shocked to find out that she could, with a little help.”

“We get together as a family and have created a real connection as her helpers. I set up the colors in front of her, she points to the paint and the glitter, and we help her hold the brush,” said Waters.

“Her art has made the family stronger and her fine muscle skills have improved.”


If she needs to communicate more than pointing, she has her DynaBox, a communication facilitator. A painting can take six months to complete, but the end result is worth it. Their daughter’s prints are now being sold through the Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation.

“Half of the proceeds from the sale of Candace’s paintings are going to help others on the autism spectrum to fulfill their dreams of becoming artists around the world,” said Waters. “Other organizations buy the prints and auction them.”

The University of California, Irvine Magazine is using Candy’s “Mr. Sun” for the cover of their publication spotlighting autism.

Special needs child an award-winning artist, fund raiser

Special needs child an award-winning artist, fund raiser

Special needs child an award-winning artist, fund raiser

Candace “Candy” Waters, above, recently had a painting title “Mr. Sun,” right, featured in UC Irvine Magazine’s “The Art of Autism.”

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:27 PM

By Alex V. Hernandez Staff Reporter |

Park Ridge is home to a remarkable 12-year-old artist whose work can and does sell for hundreds of dollars on a regular basis.

And half of the money Candace “Candy” Waters generates from her art goes toward autism charities and awareness.

Recently, UC Irvine Magazine used one of Candy’s paintings, titled “Mr. Sun,” for the cover of their summer issue focusing on UCI’s efforts to help those affected by autism.

Candace herself was diagnosed with autism when she was 2. Soon after, she began to revert from using a toddler’s vocabulary to saying almost nothing. She began painting after a teacher sent a then 6-year-old Candy home with some materials and asked her parents if she could paint. After she began to express herself through painting, one of her first works sold in a gallery for $100.

“These kids need life-long care. Almost 24 hours a day, seven, days a week,” said her father, Robert Waters. “Painting has really helped her.”

He said that while taking care of his daughter with his wife Sandy they realized that bringing awareness to other parents and helping to create a sense of community among families impacted by autism was something they needed to do. Prior to Candy’s diagnosis, Robert was a musician, and Sandy was in public relations. Because of the added responsibilities that raising an autistic child require, Sandy left her job to spend more time with her daughter.

Soon though they began hosting “The Candy Store” on Autism One Radio. In the nine years since the show began, they've had celebrities, politicians and experts as guests talking about autism and raising awareness about it. “The Candy Store” has even been featured on NBC, PBS, WLS and WGN and other media outlets.

Most of Candy’s paintings are of suns and balloons, and her work is featured at Park Ridge City Hall, state Sen. Dan Kotowski’s Chicago office and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s Chicago office, among other places.

Robert said painting seems to have helped her motor skills and thinks it’s been very therapeutic for her. And others.

“She’s helping other people with autism with her art by fundraising,” said Sandy.

Non-verbal girl with autism creates amazing art for good cause

(Live article includes a video to view on site) | FOX 32 Posted: Updated:

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Candy is a 12-year-old girl with autism who began losing her motor skills when she was a toddler. Even though she's non-verbal, she's able to inspire the world. Robert and his wife Sandy Waters treasure the moments with their daughter, who communicates through art. "She brightens up, she laughs which is priceless for us," her father, Robert Waters, says. "I just think maybe she's happy and she wants to tell us she is happy and fine, you know. It's rough when I think of that." Candy was diagnosed with autism when she was 3 years old. Robert and Sandy of Park Ridge knew something wasn't right when her verbal skills began regressing. "She was pointing and talking but then she lost everything gradually," Waters explains. "It's devastating because, you know, when you have child, you don't think you're going to have a child with a disability," Candy's mother adds. Read more: Non-verbal girl with autism creates amazing art for good cause Video Link

Disability Issues:-

Park Ridge family raising autism awareness

Saturday, September 07, 2013; tags:
More: , News Team
(Copyright ©2013 WLS-TV/DT. A.R.R.)

September 7, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Many parents who have a child with autism experience highs and lows. A Park Ridge couple found ways to increase awareness about their daughter's autism and her talent.

When Robert and Sandy Waters daughter Candy was diagnosed at the age of 3 with autism, they had no idea what the future would be. So, they took initiative with some creative ideas.

Ten years ago, Robert and Sandy started an Internet radio show called "The Candy Store."

"It's more to reach out to parents and empower them with knowledge. That is sort of our mission to share our story and share other information," Robert said.

They wrote a song called "Faith, Love and Hope." It has become an anthem for autism awareness. "We wrote it after she was diagnosed," said Robert. "It was kind of therapeutic with us writing it. We did the lyrics and music together."

Candy turns Sunday. She is non-verbal with behavioral issues but found her niche in painting.

"She likes to draw circles and lines. I like to call it a sun. It could be an eye, but it looks like a sun to me," Sandy said. "The way that she paints [says] that she is happy."

Candy's paintings have sold for $500 to $800. Her art is appears in a book called "Artism: The Art of Autism."

When the Water family thinks about their daughter's future, they want her to be happy.

"I would like to see her become a painter, keep painting, keep loving those. I just want her to be happy and safe," Robert said.

"I think music and art help her a lot. She loves to paint lines and circles and just loves to draw. She just  whatever-- as long as she is happy, I am happy," Sandy said.

Six years ago, the village of Park Ridge recognized September 8, which is Candy's birthday, as Candy Day to increase autism awareness.

For more information, visit

Referenced by request of Robert and Sandy Waters

♫♪♪♪“Where Words Fail, Music & Art Speaks.” Music & Art is a MUST for Autism!!♪♪♫

Autistic girl’s artistic gift helping to raise money and spirits

(WGN - 8th October, 2013 Amy Rutledge, Reporter)

A local Autistic girl’s artistic gifts are helping to raise money and spirits of others.

At age 3, Candace Waters, daughter of Robert and Sandy, was diagnosed with severe Autism.

After years in different therapy schools, her parents stumbled onto an untapped talent when Candy was 6 when a director of her schools told her to paint a picture.

That painting, sold at auction for $100.  Word of Candy’s new ability quickly spread and her skill level increased.

Her parents say painting helped develop her motor skills and was therapeutic for her.  And not only was art improving Candy’s life, her work was gaining momentum.  By 7, Candy made the cover of the Autism Perspective magazine and this summer, she was featured on both Something Special Magazine and the University of California-Irvine’s summer edition.

Prints of Candy’s work are now sold through the Kind Tree Autism Rocks organization and raise money to help other Autistic people realize their artistic dreams.  To date the highest price paid has been  $800.

Sandy and Robert are simply thankful their daughter is able to give back and give them a peek inside her heart.

For more information, log on to!/pages/Candy-Waters-Autism-Artist/559925447386478