The above photo was taken by my brother Noah as he flew home from Florida about a month and a half ago. Noah is on the Autism spectrum and also happens to be a talented artist, especially when it comes to wood burning and sketching. He is submitting this photograph to an art show through his high school.
When words fail, art speaks. Art, whether it be doodling, painting, or photography, allows us to express the thoughts and feelings we are unable to convey with words. Indulging in the arts has value for many individuals, especially those with special needs. There are many accounts of individuals with autism who are non-verbal but speak through their art. People with autism are often highly visual and tactile learners, my brother included. Art gives them the chance to learn, to develop, and to express.
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and April as a whole is Autism Awareness Month. With that, I want to remind everyone how special people on the Autism spectrum are. Often times people in our society are afraid of what they do not understand and they judge those who are different than them. People with Autism are different, yes. Different, but not less. There are so many wonderful things that people with Autism have contributed to our society. We need to change this perception that they aren’t “normal” and focus more on how thoughtful, loving, and talented they can be.
Photo credit: Author’s own