Unspoken Gift: The Book

Here is another link to a video detailing some information about the new book from the Waters, Unspoken Gift.


The newly published book (sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble) immediately stirred up controversy, as the video will summarize.

Key points about the book release are:

  • The book is full of art clearly made by the mother, who refuses to provide any proof or authentication with videos or photos that any of the paintings were made by Candy, even though thousands of people have requested this as a simple means of solving the issue.
  • Sandy Waters saw that reviews on Amazon were questioning the source of the art, and then solicited good reviews, even resorting to make fake positive reviews herself with aliases and to “argue” with critical ones through comments.  She also sought to constantly have any reviews removed that weren’t positive.
  • When the reviews became overwhelmingly negative, Sandy Waters posted photos of her child in a non-smiling pose claiming that the bad reviews were making Candy sad and even possibly suicidal.  However, it is clear that the “sad Candy” photos were from the same photo session made a few days earlier when the book was initially announced, and not as an actual reaction to hearing negative things.
  • People questioned why the child was even exposed to anything negative when the parents have full control over what their child sees and hears in the house.
  • The company making the book stepped in to clarify that they were strictly the distributor of the book and not the publisher.  They stated that in no way do they confirm or endorse the source of the art in the book.
  • Amazon coded the book as “unavailable”, although the Waters attempted to restate this as being “sold out” to make it sound as though it was gone due to being so popular as opposed to being pulled from availability due to controversy.
  • Many facebook users have banded together to show concern for Candy.  Although Sandy Waters keeps stating that she and her family are being cyberbullied, it is clear that the people who are speaking out do so with genuine concern for Candy’s well being and to prevent her from what appears to be exploitation.  There is no bullying of Candy Waters. No one has called Candy any names or directed anything negative at her.  No one has talked to her or contacted her.  There is an enormous show of compassion for her only.  It is the parents whose actions and behavior is in question.
  • Many have asked Sandy, “If you are concerned that your daughter is upset, why are you telling her anything negative from the internet?  Why are you on the internet at all when you should be offline helping your child?  Why is each post about your daughter’s emotions surrounded by requests to keep buying more merchandise?”  (Their questions quickly get deleted.)
  • Sandy attacked one critic, claiming that they called Candy “retarded”.  When the person said that they would never call someone that, and especially since they are a parent of a special needs child themselves, it would be especially wrong.  Sandy claimed to have screenshots of them using “the R word” about Candy.  The critic demanded proof and for a screenshot to be posted.  Then, nothing.  No screenshot or additional contact, and the commenter was blocked by Sandy Waters.  (This conversation is detailed on the Waters Autism Artist Scam page on Facebook.)  However, Sandy kept claiming in her own posts that “the cyber bullies and trolls even called Candy retarded”, which is completely fabricated.

Screen shots of many of these comments,topics, and posts appear on the page Waters Autism Artist Scam.

***Please note that the URL begins with the letters HTTPS, indicating that it is a secure link.  However, if you don’t wish to click the link you can alternatively go to Facebook and do a search for Waters Autism Artist Scam and the video will be in the album where videos are stored.


Facebook Group: Waters Autism Artist Scam, plus video

On the Facebook page “Waters Autism Artist Scam”, there is more information about the Waters faked-art controversy.  One person, who is also a parent of a child with autism, posted this video:


It outlines information that shows how Candy is used as a marketing tool, but has no actual power or financial benefit to the money being made by the scam.

***Keep in mind that the URL to this video link begins with “HTTPS”, indicating that it is a safe and secure link.  If you don’t want to click the link, you can also search on Facebook with the words “Waters Autism Artist Scam” and it can be found that way.

The only one?




The parents are currently claiming that Candy “is the only artist who has autism and is nonverbal to have full videos of herself creating art“.

There are several things about this that are completely untrue:


The videos put out by the parents on the Facebook page are not “full videos”.  They are highly edited, full of jump cuts and mystery hands in some portions.  The mystery hands (that are conveniently not in the camera shots at strategic times) are making brush strokes that the child does have appear to have the motor skills or natural desire to create.

The art being created in the videos is dramatically different from the designs being marketed on Zazzle, PAOM, and other print-on-demand sites for profit.  These videos are being put out apparently as an effort by the parents to somehow prove that Candy is actually making the art that is being branded as hers.  Therefore, when people comment and ask to see videos as some sort of validation, these videos are offered as “proof”, despite the quality of the art being completely different than what’s being sold.  Bait and switch.

Candy is definitely not the only artist with autism or other neurological differences to have videos of themselves creating art.  A simple search on Google or YouTube will reveal many people of various ages, some non-verbal and profoundly affected by autism who are painting or drawing.  Many are children or young adults.  The parents’ claim that Candy is the only one out there with videos is utter nonsense.

The caption in this video screenshot says that Candy is “doing what she loves”.  The video shows a child who appears conditionally trained or pressured, likely with food as a motivation reward, to paint on command and not as a natural desire.  It may be true, hopefully, that the child at least partially enjoys some of the process as a sensory activity.  But all of the videos put out this year show a child who is looking up periodically for approval or being directed in what to do, and not engaged in the process.  Some videos have shown Candy stopping the painting halfway through and making the ASL sign for “eat”.  A video published December 1, 2016 shows Candy pushing the paper away at the end and immediately grabbing a plastic box filled with food once her task is completed.

Almost all of the videos are edited to have music dubbed over spontaneous and naturally occurring voices in the moment, which also strategically hides the verbal directions being given by the parents.

This is not a contest.  There is no valuable exclusivity in being “the only one” who paints dots and smears on video and can’t speak.  That is the kind of thing that is said when marketing or at a carnival sideshow attraction to sucker customers to get attention.  There is no need or merit in comparing your child to others unless you have an ulterior motive.  Just be proud of who they are and what they can do as their own person.  Stop interfering with their process if they want to paint.  This is not raising awareness for autism in a productive or meaningful way.  It’s strictly self-promotion.

In all of the videos, a finished painting is typically shown at the end through editing that has clearly been embellished later with extra strokes and dots to shape Candy’s original stripes, dots, and smears into something more recognizable like an animal or a person.  This is not Candy painting on her own.  Through all of the videos published, Candy  has never appeared motivated to paint in a representational manner at all; It has always been single-color dots, smears, and lines.  Videos of Candy have never once shown the circles, fine details, multi-color brush loading, feather strokes, or representational plants, suns, and animals, which are shown in the Zazzle art.  The extra strokes and dots are the parents, adding to the paintings in an unnatural and dishonest way.  If the parents were actually proud of their child’s art, they would leave it alone and not manipulate it into something it is not simply for the sake of getting attention and compliments on a Facebook page.  If Candy really wants to paint, she should be given the tools to do it without interference, food motivation, or ableist expectations of a final product.  If your child paints a blob, let it be a blob and be proud of them.  Don’t add feather strokes and extra lines and dots. It clearly proves that the Waters don’t accept Candy’s art as it is and desire for it to be something different than what she made. That is not real parenting. It is manufacturing and dishonesty.