When Iris Grace began to paint at three years old, she wasn't able to talk-- yet her paintings spoke volumes. After Iris was diagnosed with autism in 2011, her parents began to tirelessly research therapies that are helpful for children with this spectrum disorder. That research led to the introduction of painting into Iris's world. Now five years old, Iris's impressionist-style paintings have resulted in her being dubbed the "five-year-old Monet". In fact, many of Iris's paintings sell for thousands of dollars worldwide.
Iris's diagnosis came from her doctor at two years old, after her parents expressed their concern that she wasn't picking up words or turning her head at the sound of her name. Autism spectrum disorder is a general term for a group of complex disorders that are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
The term "autism savant" refers to a phenomena that occurs when autistic people display extraordinary skills and abilities-- such as Iris Grace's remarkable ability to paint masterpieces.
Though Iris Grace struggles to make eye contact and finds interacting with peers to be extraordinarily stressful, she immediately relaxes when a paintbrush is in her hand. Paintbrushes aren't the only tool this little artist uses, though: sponges, stamps, and even plastic forks aid in the creation of her impressive works of art. According to Iris's mother:
"From the first painting, she filled the paper with color and it wasn't random -- it was considered and thought out."
Like any seasoned artist striving for perfection, Iris paints a few strokes and then steps back to consider her work before deciding her next move. A favorite source of inspiration for the young artist is also her sidekick and therapy partner-- her cat, Thula.
What started off as a proud mother boasting about her daughter's paintings on Facebook has turned into the development of an artist whose work is in high demand. Iris Grace's mother has created a website devoted to selling her daughter's paintings-- both originals and prints. The profits from Iris's work are used towards her various therapies and as contributions to her savings account.
Iris's parents have largely shielded their daughter from her flourishing stardom, declining interview requests on her behalf. However, they have no doubt that Iris knows her work is something special. Mostly, though, they relish in the sheer joy that painting has brought into their daughter's life.
If you are seeking professionals looking to unlock the potential of others similar to Iris, please contact us.
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