Meet the Creators
Meet the founder, Earth Schwartz, M.A.
Earth Schwartz has over 20 years of experience working in the field of autism. She began her career in New York City as a special educator, early intervention therapist and special needs curriculum coordinator. Earth worked in private practice as a behaviorist fusing together her own integrated, therapeutic approach of behavioral therapy and Floortime. Her time working with Dr. Stanley Greenspan at the Rebecca School was instrumental in her shift towards using a relationship-based approach as a way to connect with autistic individuals and to let them teach her how they see the world.
After receiving her Master’s with a focus in autism and completing her thesis on neurodiversity, Earth was compelled to work as a special needs consultant and advocate within the autism community using this new lens. In 2018, Earth had the honor of being selected as the North Bay area candidate for the LEND fellowship with the prestigious MIND Institute at UC Davis. The LEND fellowship (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) is comprised of an interdisciplinary team that focuses on changing the autism advocacy platform and systems of care for under-resourced families.
Over the past year, her research and work at the MIND Institute focused on supporting families during the early stages of diagnosis though a parent-coaching model, as well as facilitating a social skills educational program for parents/caregivers. As a leader and ally in the autism community, Earth advocates for autistic visibility and acceptance, increased services and supports, person-centered planning and individuals becoming their own advocates. She also enjoys lecturing on neurodiversity and educating community members on inclusive practices through her autism cultural competency trainings. She hopes to create more safe, sensory-friendly spaces and social events for the autism community of Sonoma County, including a support group for the intersectionality of autistic, LBGTQAI+ individuals.
With the launch of her passion project, Identities of Autism, Earth is tapping into what she has always wanted to do; to show the world just how incredible autistic people are because of their autism. Through her love for photography, she is opening up the space for them to feel seen and heard. Their voices and expressions will portray the magic and diversity that encompasses the autism community and the neurodiversity movement.
Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them
Meet the photographer, Sarah Deragon
Sarah believes in big ideas, early-morning creativity and the awesome opportunity of every new day. She is a self-taught professional portrait photographer residing in the beautiful Bay Area. After getting burned out at her day job, she picked up a camera in her 30's, reconnected with her creativity and launched a business called, Portraits To The People. Her passion for photography has always centered around capturing the very best version of people—focusing on portraiture that’s fun and authentic by utilizing natural light, creative locations and some good jokes. She photographs artists and creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners and families. Her work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, Refinery 29, and Bust Magazine. Her client list includes Adobe, Yelp and NextDoor to name a few. Sarah is super excited to be working on this photo project with Earth!