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Autism Into Art: Siobhan’s Story

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In honor of Autism Awareness Day, we’re bringing Siobhan’s story back from the archives. It was originally published on December 14, 2007.

My daughter Siobhan is three years old and she paints with her hands and fingers. Big deal, you’re thinking, right? Actually, it is a big deal. Here’s why:

Siobhan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two and a half. She is relatively non-verbal, and soon after her diagnosis she began to eat only dry, crunchy foods. She has a fit in the bath tub when it’s time for soap and shampoo. She screams if the family dog licks her hand. Basically, my daughter cannot stand to touch or even come in contact with anything wet, slimy or squishy.

We started painting with a brush as a form of “art therapy” to try to get her used to different textures, and possibly to start trying new foods. At first, Siobhan would only use a brush, and any paint that got on her hands had to be wiped off immediately. We went on like this for some time, because she enjoyed the activity. One day, out of the blue, she threw her brush down on the floor and started beautifully blending the colors with her hands. I couldn’t have been any more amazed.

Since that day, we have let her start painting on canvases. She quickly progressed as a little artist, and started to gesture to or even say the name of the color she wanted next for her painting. She chooses her colors very carefully and puts a lot of thought into it. If I make a mistake and give her the wrong color, she will throw the canvas on the floor, or scrape the paint off with her hands and fling it. After cleaning up many huge messes, I realized that if I hold the colors in front of her two at a time, she will tap on or grab the color she wants when I get to it. I’ve also started letting her choose what shape or size canvas she wants to use. When Siobhan is really pleased with her work, she flaps her hands with excitement, which leads to splatters on many of her paintings. She brings me her smock or asks for “colors” about once or twice a week.

In October, we were asked for four of my daughter’s paintings to display in Rhode Island (my home town) at the Neurodevelopment Center’s Autism Project Art Gallery. Recently, a local paper did an article on Siobhan and her unique paintings. The story was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and then it was all over Florida and several other states as well. About two weeks later, I was contacted by the Good Morning America show. They wanted to do a story on Siobhan. We were so excited that there was a positive story about autism having such an impact on people! I agreed to let them do the story if it was minimally invasive. My daughter doesn’t like artificial lights, loud noises, or anything out of her normal routine. A close friend in the film industry offered to do the taping for us, since Siobhan was already very familiar with him.

I lined up all of Siobhan’s paints on the kitchen table, set up her baby wipes, paper towels, and canvases. (She still doesn’t like to get too much paint on her hands, so I need to wipe them often.) Once we were set up and she got her smock on, she was ready to paint and the film started rolling!

Even with minimal lighting and just one camera set up, Siobhan was uncomfortable and distracted. She did two paintings during the filming, but I could tell she was very anxious, and she wasn’t into it or enjoying it the way she usually does, so we stopped after that.

The next night I was interviewed on film. I was asked to tell Siobhan’s story, how the painting came about, and the progress she has made. I talked about our Etsy shop, SiobhansDream, and what we do with the money we make from the sales of Siobhan’s work. One of the ways we use the money she makes is to purchase more art supplies for her. It also helps us to cover the costs of some of her special diet, treatment, and therapy needs. We also donate to various Autism-related charities, so that Siobhan can help other families like ours.

And all I have to say to people who think art therapy doesn’t help is this: My daughter uses more words when she is painting then at any other time. And Siobhan – who wouldn’t eat anything that wasn’t dry or crunchy, and won’t touch anything wet or squishy other than her paint – started eating ice cream a few weeks ago.

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  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca says: Featured

    After doing habilitation work with kids with autism for many years, I adore this story! Especially the bit about the hand-flapping! ;) I understand the daily struggles. Even though I wasn't a parent, I was with one little girl in particular for 46 hours a week(!) I certainly knew the role of care-giver & the amazing amount of time & funds that go into raising a child with autism. All of my kudos to you (yes, all of them) for helping to make a difference!

    6 years ago

  • alkemystic88

    alkemystic88 says: Featured

    great therapy idea to use the paint, I saw an autistic student pick up a guitar one time after watching a music teacher and he learned to play it really fast, It is amazing when art becomes a medium of healing.

    6 years ago

  • littlepancakes

    Melissa Pancakes from littlepancakes says: Featured

    I have Aspergers (and I'm proud of it!) and I find art/creation to be EXTREMELY therapeutic. Making my jewelry allows me to express myself and provides an outlet where I can get a little peace and don't have to deal with the stress of the outside world. I can spend hours coming up with new ideas and trying them out. However, I also love the social aspects of selling my work at shows. It's important to remember that there are a lot of stereotypes about people with autism, but every person on the spectrum is different. Anyhow, I love this story and Siobhan's art is gorgeous.

    2 years ago

  • MyEnchantedDesigns

    Tracy Britto from MyEnchantedDesigns says: Featured

    I applaud the both of you. I am a grandmother of eight. My three oldest grandsons have autism. It takes love, trust, patience, understanding and above all courage to raise our little ones. I know the excitement you felt when you daughter ate ice cream. My biggest joy was when I handed my grandson my iPad in the doctors office to calm him down,,,,,too many people, too much noise, lights too bright,,,,,well, he handed it back and had spelled his name. He was 7 and had never communicated through words. I didn't know he could spell. I know how happy your moment with ice cream was!!! Parents of special children are truly special themselves. Love from N.C.

    2 years ago

  • AtomicLemonade

    AtomicLemonade says:

    Inspiring story. Your patience and love will take her a long way.

    6 years ago

  • shandke

    shandke says:

    This is AMAZING! It truly has inspired me. Thanks for sharing, and I hope Siobhan continues her progression. I worked with severely handicapped kids for one year as a para-educator, and I'd do it over and over again if I could. I learned more about myself and those kids that year, and I think they taught me most of the JOY that I still see in the world today. I couldn't implement art with the tasks I was allotted, but I was able to play music. It was amazing to see them share their music and interests with me during that time. I will never forget those children! THANKS FOR SHARING SIOBHANS STORY!

    6 years ago

  • SalmonStreetStudio

    SalmonStreetStudio says:

    Wow, and way to go Mama for seeing this in your fab little one! : )

    6 years ago

  • TheLolaCollection

    TheLolaCollection says:

    Amazing. Truly amazing.

    6 years ago

  • Shortsupply

    Shortsupply says:

    Love it. :)

    6 years ago

  • EarthBabyDesigns

    EarthBabyDesigns says:

    What a lovely tribute to your daughter. Having known several autistic children, I know what a challenge, but what an inspiration they can be to the lives they touch.

    6 years ago

  • chelleline

    chelleline says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    6 years ago

  • GossamerDreams

    GossamerDreams says:

    Looking at Siobhan's paintings gives me the same warm and peaceful feelings as looking at a garden which has been tended with love.

    6 years ago

  • APunkinCardCompany

    APunkinCardCompany says:

    Wow! This is an amazing story!

    6 years ago

  • cjswoodlandshed

    cjswoodlandshed says:

    This is all so impressive! I am going to start painting with my 2 year old Eli who has autism! What an awesome therapy idea.

    6 years ago

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca says: Featured

    After doing habilitation work with kids with autism for many years, I adore this story! Especially the bit about the hand-flapping! ;) I understand the daily struggles. Even though I wasn't a parent, I was with one little girl in particular for 46 hours a week(!) I certainly knew the role of care-giver & the amazing amount of time & funds that go into raising a child with autism. All of my kudos to you (yes, all of them) for helping to make a difference!

    6 years ago

  • nanjodogz

    nanjodogz says:

    What a wonderful story -- thank your for sharing with us, have a happy, fun-filled holiday season!

    6 years ago

  • crostini

    crostini says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I love how Etsy can be used as a vehicle to increase awareness of autism! Siobhan is very special (and I love her sense of color). ~an east sider~

    6 years ago

  • Shutterkate

    Shutterkate says:

    This is truly amazing! Her art is so beautiful and I'm so happy for you that it has had such a positive effect on her!

    6 years ago

  • amuse

    amuse says:

    That is a beautiful and amazing story. I have always been interested in art therapy and have recently been considering going back to school to pursue this. Reading stories like yours inspires me to do more with my talents, love of art, and love of children. AMAZING story!

    6 years ago

  • timelessfloorcloths

    timelessfloorcloths says:

    Lovely story! Keep up the good work Siobhan and mom. Love your color choices, a true artist. An inspiration for all.

    6 years ago

  • SiobhansDream

    SiobhansDream says:

    I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face... Thanks everyone for the beautiful comments & support. I'm overwhelmed.

    6 years ago

  • BonnyJewelry

    BonnyJewelry says:

    So amazing - what a wonderful gift Siobhan has - thank you so much for sharing her/your story. Truly an inspiration!

    6 years ago

  • Jemjoop

    Jemjoop says:

    Wow, I love your story. That is remarkable she can express herself through art and it is helping her to progress in other areas. She's a great painter too! Jen

    6 years ago

  • sarahbirdspins

    sarahbirdspins says:

    Thank you for sharing your daughter's beautiful story.

    6 years ago

  • AnnaMKyle

    AnnaMKyle says:

    Great story! I have 2 sons with autism myself and we have used art therapy with both of them. My oldest, Aidan (11), is high functioning, but my little guy, Korbin (7), was classic. Korbin had such severe sensory issues that we could barely handle him at home, much less leave the house. He wasn't diagnosed until he was 3, but he was so severe that he qualified for Early Intervention therapy at the age of 12 months. At the age of 3 he was still not using the few words he could say in a meaningful way for communication. Today he's 7 and we can't get him to be quiet! :) He's in a special ed class for 2nd grade because of his social issues, but he's reading and spelling on a 3rd grade level. He still has sensory issues, but now we can even make it through loud crowded stores. Yeah, everyone does that... but think about it... even the touch of your mom's hand feels like pain to you, artificial lights hurt your eyes, anything over an indoor voice hurts your ears, all of that motion, and those smells! And mom wants to take you into the mall for a quick errand? To Siobhan's mom... use the art to take other steps. I see that you are using it to help her learn to communicate. Next you can teach numbers and letters by letting her draw them in the paint with her fingers. She's very visual so show her a picture or number of the letter you are working on that day. Also be sure to put up a visual reminder of the letters and their order, like a teacher would use above the chalkboard. The sky is the limit from there. Smears and then arrows to learn left, right, up and down. Anything you want to teach her, use her medium. If any other parents are out there and suspect that their child may need evaluation for autism or any other developmental delay PLEASE talk to your doctor! Every child in the US under 3 can recieve free evaluations and therapy, if needed, through Early Intervention. You can get more info from your local Dept. of Health and Human Services. Thanks for sharing your story with the world! Anna www.annamkyle.etsy.com www.geocities.com/annamkyle for more about resources in Arkansas

    6 years ago

  • SiobhansDream

    SiobhansDream says:

    thanks for all the suggestions... we use art as a way to teach her... but mostly as an outlet & just "fun" activity... i work with her CONSTANTLY, so the painting is really "her time" and i just squeeze in a little education here & there. she knows her numbers, letters, colors, shapes... all of that. she can even read & spell small words & has been able to for quite a while. we're always trying to come up with new activities to challenge her! her fine motor skills are improving rapidly as well... and she's attempting to make letters with her crayons. we don't use ABA or any of that... we use the Son-Rise program. it was the right therapy choice for our family & siobhan. if anyone wants info on that, please convo me, or visit my site: www.SiobhansDream.com

    6 years ago

  • funkyjunkfunkyjunk

    funkyjunkfunkyjunk says:

    This is so awesome! I am in tears. Art therapy definitely works. I have twins with severe disabilities. They are blind and can't sit up. One of them will hold a brush alittle bit but doesn't move it much. The other twin can't hold anything so I just put the paint on her feet and let her kick it up! It's great therapy for them and for me. AND I have some art for the walls!!

    6 years ago

  • JessicaSharrah

    JessicaSharrah says:

    WOW - thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

    6 years ago

  • purplevelvet

    purplevelvet says:

    Her art is so beautiful and so is she! Thank you for sharing with us. Your love will carry her far.

    6 years ago

  • ThePaintedTiger

    ThePaintedTiger says:

    She has amazing color sense! Thank you for sharing her with us.

    6 years ago

  • SiobhansDream

    SiobhansDream says:

    THE DR. PHIL SHOW HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE 19TH!!!

    6 years ago

  • dmollison

    dmollison says:

    She is just beautiful. Thank you for your courage and for sharing your story.

    6 years ago

  • Fabulosity

    Fabulosity says:

    What an amazing story! A beautiful child, I am in awe of her talent and the courage she and her family display.

    6 years ago

  • strawberryanarchy

    strawberryanarchy says:

    wow i love her paintings and she looks so beautiful. what an interesting little girl!

    6 years ago

  • sarahparrott825

    sarahparrott825 says:

    really inspiring story. thank you for sharing.

    6 years ago

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts says:

    About 8 years ago now, I spent a few years working with autistic adults in Oakland California. It was an art facility for autistic men and woman ranging in ages from 18 - 99. The most amazing people in my life i met there, especially a set of twins who were about 30 at the time. They were both autistic but one more severely the the other. Ken was very responsive to my questions, (as long as they were the right ones) and his brother Keith never spoke until he started drawing. He would draw what he wanted to say as well as what he wanted, etc. Growing up with an Uncle who is also autistic, really geared me in the direction of working with autistic adults and it's a very rewarding experience. Art therapy is an amazing tool, that people should be more aware of! Thanks for the great article and i actually caught part of the Dr. Phil show yesterday

    6 years ago

  • SiobhansDream

    SiobhansDream says:

    We were NOT happy with the extremely negative tone of the Dr. Phil show on Autism... If I had known what the show was going to be about, I wouldn't have agreed to be part of it. That was NOT an accurate picture of what it is like in a family touched by Autism. That child was a severe case that has not gotten the help and therapy he desperately needs. There was also something more going on with that little boy than just Autism. While there are severe & violent cases like that, they are uncommon.... and can usually be helped DRAMATICALLY with the right interventions. Children with Autism DO NOT generally act that way.... So for those of you who saw the show & felt horribly bad for us parents, please don't.... Our children are beautiful & amazing, just like yours! They're just different. :o) Julie Forrester www.SiobhansDream.com

    6 years ago

  • alkemystic88

    alkemystic88 says: Featured

    great therapy idea to use the paint, I saw an autistic student pick up a guitar one time after watching a music teacher and he learned to play it really fast, It is amazing when art becomes a medium of healing.

    6 years ago

  • flapi

    flapi says:

    This is a wonderful story! Grettings to you and Siobhan (she's so cute, by the way) all the way from Portugal :-)

    6 years ago

  • Gingeroni1

    Gingeroni1 says:

    What a Inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It truly touched me. Thank you, and God Bless. Kathi

    6 years ago

  • ArigigiArt

    Gina from ArigigiArt says:

    Wonderful story!

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush says:

    So much beauty.. thank you for sharing this :)

    2 years ago

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle from ACupOfSparkle says:

    Great story and Happy Autism Awareness Day!

    2 years ago

  • jewellerymadebyme

    Jennie Glaze from jewellerymadebyme says:

    Bless her, it just goes to show how many different ways we communicate

    2 years ago

  • amberike
  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace says:

    aww, this makes me want to cry. My niece and nephew are bot autistic and struggle with life everyday. This is amazing therapy, I only hope it gets better and better for her.

    2 years ago

  • BizzieLizzie

    Bizzie from BizzieLizzieHandmade says:

    Glad you brought this back! Lovely story!

    2 years ago

  • TheWeirdGirlWorkshop

    Andrea from TheWeirdGirlWorkshop says:

    Such an amazing story and family. I have tears of joy in my eyes!

    2 years ago

  • stonehorsedesigns

    stonehorsedesigns from stonehorsedesigns says:

    What a great story!

    2 years ago

  • YourFineHouse

    Joyce from YourFineHouse says:

    I Love this story. Sioban is creating beautiful art, there's depth and light and movement. Looking at her fingerpainting and her results it's obvious she's thinking about what she wants to put down on paper. How lucky she is to have such an intuitive mother who can help her be all that she can be. Good Luck with your beautiful little girl.

    2 years ago

  • TheWeirdGirlWorkshop

    Andrea from TheWeirdGirlWorkshop says:

    Shucks- the shop appears to have closed years ago. Is she still painting??

    2 years ago

  • AsBoldAsLions

    Amanda Molandes from AsBoldAsLions says:

    Inspiring story. Her paintings are truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing <3

    2 years ago

  • nsimone74

    nsimone74 says:

    Wonderful story.

    2 years ago

  • eclu

    Jami from eclu says:

    I am a mom with a child that has autism, she is my best teacher.....

    2 years ago

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake from IcingOnTheCupcake says:

    This is a beautiful story! I hope she is still painting and doing well :)

    2 years ago

  • todaysart

    adina-ana from todaysart says:

    Thank-you for sharing thi story with us. I too have a son with disability and tried to introduce him to art since I am an artist. Your story gives me new hopes. All the best. You daughter is soo cute.

    2 years ago

  • jbeaudet

    Jennifer Beaudet from JBeaudetStudios says:

    Oh darn, this is an old post. What an amazing story! I totally believe in art therapy for autism. I worked with autistic children for 4 years and art was always the best therapy for them.This is such an important concern in our works today. Thank you Etsy for reposting this article! I would love to hear how Siobhan is doing today:)

    2 years ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    What an amazing mother! A wonderful story. It puts having a pain-in-the- butt teenager into perspective.

    2 years ago

  • MullaneInk

    Molly Shannon from MullaneInk says:

    This is a fabulous story that points out many beneficial uses of art therapy. Congratulations Siobhan- keep up the good work!

    2 years ago

  • walshcath

    walshcath says:

    Amazing story, beautiful works of art!

    2 years ago

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny says:

    A wonderful story to have shared. Thank you very much for re-posting it. Her artwork is so fluid and lovely, I found myself staring at each piece at length before moving on with the remainder of the text. This has been and inspiring.

    2 years ago

  • JasmineLund

    Hannah Jasmine Tucker from TheMiddleButton says:

    What a beautiful story! Thanks for reposting, Etsy! How humbling for those of us who do not have any disabilities or challenges, what a call for us to challenge ourselves! Julie, thanks for sharing this precious experience, and blessings on you, your daughter, and your amazing work in this fascinating realm!

    2 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm from baconsquarefarm says:

    Your daughter is an artist she has the gift to create with paints from fingers to brushes. Happy Etsy shared this story once again, missed it back on 07.

    2 years ago

  • MizzleKids

    Lydia Louw from MizzleKids says:

    wow, just read one of oliver sacks books (an anthropologist on mars) which includes a couple of stories about autism. I guess that painting isn't only a therapy, but also your daughters language.

    2 years ago

  • scissorkitty

    Morgan Brittan van Wyk from scissorkitty says:

    This is so awesome! :)

    2 years ago

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns says:

    As the mother of an autistic 9 year old son, I read your story with great interest. The challenges that parents of autistic children face are enormous. They are second only to the hurdles that the children themselves must bear daily, and likely for the rest of their lives. I applaud your inspiring efforts to help Siobhan find her voice. In telling your story, you are giving parents the courage to help their children find other ways to express themselves beyond that of standard communication. I know that the article is a few years old, but I hope that Siobhan is doing well and continuing her artistic and expressive journey!

    2 years ago

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Stephens from ArtsyFlair says:

    Such a great & inspiring story! I was very touched! Thank you for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • raininghours

    raininghours says:

    This is so much like my son. It took us two weeks of almost daily attempts to get him to put just one little finger into the paint---and he was almost 5 at the time. I've always found his work fascinating because I know there is so much going on in his head and he has such a different world view. Any little window into his mind is like a gift to me. And we found, too, that he is much more peaceful on the days he paints. I have to say though, he still prefers brushes!

    2 years ago

  • cherrisajustinmcintu

    Cherrisa Mcinturff from TheHive4 says:

    This is a beautiful story

    2 years ago

  • InvitaPaperStudio
  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie says:

    Beautiful Story. Inspiring Sioban. I too have a child, although grown with Autism. I am blogging all of April, as I do every year. Come check it out: http://theknifewife.blogspot.com/

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Wonderful story!!!

    2 years ago

  • rivahside

    rivahside says:

    I have a grown son with Down Syndrome and Autism and, believe me, I can relate to some things in this story! Thank you for re-posting this and raising awareness for Autism. EVERY child is a gift from God.

    2 years ago

  • Kittangle

    Kittangle from Kittangle says:

    this made my day. it's in the "best things I have ever heard" file in my brain. sometimes I just can't believe how amazing things can be :)

    2 years ago

  • jelenamirkov

    Jelena from CeruleanBird says:

    An inspiring story. In kindergarten in the group with my son goes one boy with moderate form of autism, his mother says that before entering kindergarten he almost does not speak, but now after a year in kindergarten, it is much more than improved. And I have a close cousin , a little older than me with a severe form of autism...

    2 years ago

  • amth13

    Marcia from 13Alternatives says:

    My beautiful daughter is 9 and has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Thankfully she doesn't seem to mind the mess of paints, glue and glitter. But noise is an issue, smell especially, social skills, but her strengths are her sense of humour, she's very loving to me and despite what the experts say she has an amazing imagination.

    2 years ago

  • PearlesPainting

    Pearle Northrop from PearlesPainting says:

    Great Story! ♥

    2 years ago

  • ekparisi

    Elizabeth P says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your daughter's art is beautiful, and not just for a child or for someone living with autism: It just just beautiful.

    2 years ago

  • Leyliany

    Alina from Leyliany says:

    It would be very interesting to hear how this little girl is doing now…after 4 years…Hope they were able to recover ….As some kids do recover from Autism…My 5 year old makes progress every day…and I hope one day his minor autistic signs would be considered as uniqueness and not abnormality

    2 years ago

  • LilliansBags

    Lillian Gallagher from LilliansBags says:

    I loved reading your daughters story and can see similarities to my own daughter, age 13, who has Asbergers. Her main outlet for any emotion and imagination has been and still is art, mainly drawings by pen or pencils. It is inspiring that your daughter is part of showing the strengths that children on the Autistic spectrum has. Keep it up beautiful Siobhan. :-)

    2 years ago

  • littlepancakes

    Melissa Pancakes from littlepancakes says: Featured

    I have Aspergers (and I'm proud of it!) and I find art/creation to be EXTREMELY therapeutic. Making my jewelry allows me to express myself and provides an outlet where I can get a little peace and don't have to deal with the stress of the outside world. I can spend hours coming up with new ideas and trying them out. However, I also love the social aspects of selling my work at shows. It's important to remember that there are a lot of stereotypes about people with autism, but every person on the spectrum is different. Anyhow, I love this story and Siobhan's art is gorgeous.

    2 years ago

  • TwistedWhimsyDesigns

    Joanna Otten from TwistedWhimsyDesigns says:

    This is a wonderful story, it brought tears to my eyes. Siobhan is such a lucky girl to have a mom that encourages her to have art as an outlet and fun activity! Her paintings are beautiful... the dark and the light aspects, they remind me of the sun shining through the sea :)

    2 years ago

  • lilycobweb

    Rena Roohipour from lilycobweb says:

    Wonderful,inspiring story! Thank you for sharing. My 14-year old daughter has autism and art is her outlet for her emotions, frustrations and dreams. She is the light of my life, as Siobhan is of yours:)

    2 years ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    Lovely story!

    2 years ago

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket says:

    Love the story. Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy says:

    A simply touching story, thank you!

    2 years ago

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving says:

    Great ! beautiful story! Thank you!!

    2 years ago

  • wanderingstartoys

    Vanessa L Farr from wanderingstartoys says:

    What a beautiful story... Has there been thought to a follow-up piece?

    2 years ago

  • boobahblue

    Renee Hanks from BooBahBlue says:

    Beautiful article...I have tears in my eyes. Her paintings are AMAZING! What an eye for color and texture...just gorgeous. I am going to share this with some friends. Its is so inspiring! Thank you.

    2 years ago

  • perlesdeverre

    Erin Dubrow from perlesdeverre says:

    I would love an update! Can we get her mom to let us know how she is progressing? Autism is such a mysterious illness the parents, doctors, and teachers are these kids are truly special people to work with such special kids.

    2 years ago

  • QPeeLove

    Kerryn Taylor from GunstoreDaddyVintage says:

    WOW I love this story and the paintings are incredible. My son who is 15 now is autism with aspergers also. I tried everything to stop his violent mood swings, sensory problems, zero speech, no eye contact etc.... I had watched a show about how some autistic kids were savante in some things like art and numbers so when I got the diagnosis I had it in my head he would be an incredible artist - I tried with the paints, he didnt like the mess and just got violent, tried with pencils etc... I stuck with it but his obsession with computers was so big. I have since tried him on computer graphics, art etc... and he really loves that! He wants to design graphics for computer games etc.. Tonight I am going to get the easel out and a canvas and see what he comes up with haha. even if it involves a bit of bribery haha. Its a constant battle, trying to control his diet, bowel, get him active, and trying to figure out where he would get a job or if he would ever be independant to move out on his own (not yet). As beautiful and special as these gorgeous children are, it is a constant worry. Well done, It is such a beautiful story!

    2 years ago

  • oddlobster

    Leah Waig from OfDreamsandDaring says:

    This is a beautiful story. I'd love to know how Siobhan is doing today, and what she's up to creatively. Thank you so much for sharing her story, it's truly heartwarming. I'm off to check out Siobhan's shop!

    2 years ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Amazing story!

    2 years ago

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty says:

    Fantastic article!

    2 years ago

  • whatemilymakes

    Emily E. from ZiggyAndZoop says:

    I'm really glad this was re-posted, or I never would have found it! What a beautiful story!

    2 years ago

  • elleestpetite

    Donna Thai from PetiteCuisine says:

    What a wonderful story about family.

    2 years ago

  • restorationharbor

    Laura and Blakeley Harbor from RestorationHarbor says:

    Wonderful article. What an inspiring kid!

    2 years ago

  • MyEnchantedDesigns

    Tracy Britto from MyEnchantedDesigns says: Featured

    I applaud the both of you. I am a grandmother of eight. My three oldest grandsons have autism. It takes love, trust, patience, understanding and above all courage to raise our little ones. I know the excitement you felt when you daughter ate ice cream. My biggest joy was when I handed my grandson my iPad in the doctors office to calm him down,,,,,too many people, too much noise, lights too bright,,,,,well, he handed it back and had spelled his name. He was 7 and had never communicated through words. I didn't know he could spell. I know how happy your moment with ice cream was!!! Parents of special children are truly special themselves. Love from N.C.

    2 years ago

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami says:

    Thank you for sharing your beatiful story!

    2 years ago

  • MexicArt

    Sofia Sanchez from MexicArt says:

    AMAZING story, thank you for sharing

    2 years ago

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ says:

    Beautiful story! She has such a great eye for color! What an amazing girl :)

    2 years ago

  • PolClary

    PolClary from PolClary says:

    What a beautiful story. You're an inspiration!

    2 years ago

  • isfour

    isfour says:

    How about following up on this since it was written 4 years ago?

    2 years ago

  • yqsl66

    Ada Ada from idajewelry66 says:

    thank you so much for sharing story. Truly an inspiration!

    2 years ago

  • loriglorie

    Lori Bruggeman from LoriGlorie says:

    This is a true inspirational story, I work a lot with kids who are diagnosed with autism. Thank you so much for sharing the story again;)

    2 years ago

  • misponko
  • sunnybeee

    Nicole Thibodeau from SunnybeeeDesigns says:

    Absolutely amazing! Kids are our future!!!

    2 years ago

  • proverbs104gifts

    Kasey from proverbs104gifts says:

    What a wonderful story! I worked with a couple of autistic kids when I was in high school, and I tell you that was some of the most special times of my life spent with them! Can't wait to purchase a painting of Siobhan's.

    2 years ago

  • AllMyHeartChicago

    Kaycee from ApplejackApparel says:

    I'm a special education teacher, and have known many, many people with autism, and they are all individuals with different gifts and needs... My favorite thing to relate is that Temple Grandin calls those without autism "neurotypicals!" I think we all have a role and a story, and Siobhan seems to be finding hers with your guidance. I do hope she finds the world a more comfortable place as time goes by, and wish you and your family the best!

    2 years ago

  • MissHildebrandt

    Hildebrandt from MissHildebrandt says:

    Very touching. Amazing. Thank you for being a wonderful Mother to your sweetheart of a child. Paint on little sweetiepie...paint on!

    2 years ago

  • hellobinturong

    Mama Binturong from babybinturong says:

    truly amazing and beautiful story.

    2 years ago

  • OrianneG

    Orianne Greene from TidbitsForHipChicks says:

    So often children and adults with autism are misunderstood. It's so heartwarming to read about a family who supports their daughter so much she has her own shop at such a young age. Love this.

    2 years ago

  • SewSimplyFresh

    Kim Opoku-Ansah from StitchLightly says:

    Love the positive story.

    2 years ago

  • NervousWardrobe

    NervousWardrobe from NervousWardrobe says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story.

    2 years ago

  • LCooperDesigns

    LC Cooper from LeMaisonBelle says:

    What a smart, beautiful little girl! Your story reminded me of a program that I watched detailing how the iPad is being used as a learning tool for kids. There was a little boy with autism - they put an iPad in front of him, and suddenly he clicked into focus. Not only could he understand and use the iPad, but he could communicate...answer questions and follow commands. There is also a great video on a girl, Carly Fleischmann, who is autistic and has learned to communicate through a computer. View her story @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg. It's amazing to see technology playing a part in unlocking this heart-breaking disorder. Thank you for sharing this story!

    2 years ago

  • erinswindow

    Erin from erinswindow says:

    Love the story so much. Sending you and your gorgeous daughter lots of love!

    2 years ago

  • sambmehta

    Sam B from sambmehta says:

    Your story is so touching...wishing you and your family lots of love and blessings.

    2 years ago

  • Bellabisinia

    Debbie Mekonnen from Bellabisinia says:

    Amazing and inspiring. I studied Art therapy myself and this is so helpfull and touching. Thank you for sharing and sending you much love from Ethiopia.

    2 years ago

  • mazzart10

    mazzart10 says:

    <3 i am an art educator.....and this is beyond inspiring! i love how you love & support your daughter! Art can be theraputic to many of us, let alone a child with autism............we can all learn something from this remarkable little girl! thank u for sharing! <3

    2 years ago

  • dloustalot

    Danielle Loustalot from SomethingFromTheSun says:

    It would be amazing to be able to experience what Siobhan feels and thinks as she makes such beautiful artwork. It truly speaks to me, thank you so much for sharing this story! I think I'm going to go finger paint now...

    1 year ago