Independence Week 2013: Autistic Girl’s Paintings Stun World

Posted by Mike Merritt in Independent Candidates on

This just goes to show that everybody has a spark of creativity in them. Everybody. From The Daily Mail:

What makes her achievement even more extraordinary, however, is the fact she is autistic. She cannot speak, other children unnerve and distress her, the unpredictability of the world fills her with fear and panic. But art has soothed and calmed her — a source of delight and a therapy.

‘When Iris was diagnosed with autism, the key was to find something she loved to do,’ says her mum, Arabella Carter-Johnson. ‘I’d taken her to a playgroup,  but it had been disastrous.

‘There was one particularly noisy toy train that made her very distressed. She’d have a meltdown, an uncontrolled tantrum, any time a child played with it.

Then her parents found something that worked:

She stumbled on art almost by accident. ‘One day I drew some stick men and Iris found them really funny. My mum bought an easel and we got the paint out. Iris made one brush stroke and the paint dribbled down to the bottom of the page. She was furious and burst into tears. ‘But I figured out the problem: it wasn’t the paint, it was the fact she couldn’t control it. So I put a sheet of paper on a table instead of the easel and straightaway she filled the whole page. She seemed to know intuitively what to do.’

Now Iris’ paintings are being sold as prints to people who’d like a copy, and by all accounts it is helping her interact with other people more often.

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