A young girl (age 4) by the name of Siobhan has created beautiful artwork. Her paintings are so… special. But special does not seem a big enough word to describe the significance of her work. Siobhan’s autism effects her in a way that is similar to my own daughter: she has very limited language, she is tactile defensive to certain textures, and she has feeding issues. Siobhan usually cannot stand the touch of wet, slimy substances and, as a result, has a limited diet of mainly dry, crunchy foods. And so when she one day began to fingerpaint, her mother was amazed at her daughter’s beautiful gift.
I first learned about Siobhan after a long, discouraging day in which my daughter had just been diagnosed with a feeding disorder. The developmental pediatrician and speech therapist had kind of shrugged their shoulders as if to say Sorry, that’s just autism. Go home and try to get her to play with banana puree. Gee thanks. But I was then, and continue to be, greatly encouraged and deeply touched by Siobhan’s story.
Oh, the Perks of Autism.
There are so many challenges, but there are so many special gifts. Not all are savants, but I believe each dear one has a unique gift. Some are musical, some are physically adept, some are unbelievably intuitive, some are amazing problem-solvers. And the list goes on. God has fashioned and wonderfully made each one. Lord, help us to know how to nurture the gifts in our children.
Siobhan has masterpieces dancing in her head. She is able to indicate to her mother what color(s) she wants when she wants them. Her mother has said that Siobhan is often more verbal when she paints. Below is a video of Siobhan and her paintings.
For more on Siobhan and her artwork, visit Siobhan’s Dream.