Joshua who is limited in expressive speech has found art as a way to communicate.
By Sandra Lord
I am so excited to introduce to you my amazing Autistic son Joshua Garcia who just turned 18!
When he was diagnosed at the age of 3 as being “severely autistic” and not being able to speak a word I was terrified. What will his life be like? What does the future hold for him?
As he began the Early Intervention Program in preschool he started to blossom. His teacher worked so hard with him on trying to teach him sign language which he started to do for asking things such as “more,” “drink” and other sign language symbols. At the age of 4 while dropping him off at the classroom door taking part of our daily morning ritual of the teacher mimicking to Joshua how to say good bye to me, Joshua said out loud in a small voice “bye-bye” as he waved. It was the best Christmas present I have ever received!
I cried … and Joshua’s teacher cried with me.
Fast forward now to a young man still limited in expressive speech but is full of life and love for the world. Joshua loves to play softball with the local Miracle League, sing Karaoke songs, go snorkeling and just recently has found a passion for abstract painting. When he was in elementary school he came home one day with an abstract water color painting that I just fell in love with. During an IEP meeting at school I met his art teacher who told me that Joshua had an innate understanding of” knowing”colors. I didn’t think much of it at all and thought, “oh, that’s nice”. Joshua loves cars and surfing the intranet just like any other kid. The usual birthday presents I would buy for him were toy cars and action figures or some electronic game to play with. BUT! This year I was inspired to buy Joshua some canvases and acrylics paints. I have always wanted to have another painting by him since the other one was destroyed many years ago during several moves.
When Joshua started painting his abstract paintings in the kitchen it was awesome until the paint was being splattered all over the place. I had to move him out to the garage where he now has the freedom to express his creative strokes on his paintings that he calls “Splats.” I as his mother get the privilege to give each one a name.
I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.
This was Joshua’s third time at painting the weekend of his 18th Birthday! It is one of my very favorites! As I gaze upon the expressive images of moving paint and color my mind just relaxes and wonders away from stress!