Autistic Childrens' Art Exhibit for Autism Awareness Month

This month is Autism Awareness Month, a time to alert parents to the information they need to determine if their child could be at risk.

The Art Center of Corpus Christi on the Bayfront is helping with that by featuring a room full of art, all created by autistic children.

"Words can't describe, honestly they can't," said Stacie Scott, the mother of an autistic child. "Every time I think about his work, I just, I tear up, because he's come so far. From kindergarten, not wanting to write, not really being able to hold a pencil properly, to being in middle school and in an art class and loving art."

She is just one of the mom's whose kid's artwork is on display at the center. Her favorite is a pencil sketch of a group of buildings from various cartoons.

The number of autistic children is staggering, and growing.

"We support about 200 families right now, and every day we get another request," said Doreen Lund of the Autism Spectrum Resource Center. "I know through the schools, we have one of the representatives on our board, and she gets about three requests a day for evaluations for younger children."

Another mom of an autistic child said discovering autism can sometimes tear families apart.

"When our son, he exhibited behavior as an infant, that left me wondering, 'There's something wrong with my child. I do not know what,'" said Dorothy Cunningham. "My husband was like, 'He's fine. There's nothing wrong with him.' And a lot of our fathers are in denial, and they don't want to admit there's something wrong with our sons or our daughters."

Some signs of autism include the child not pointing at things, not being able to make eye contact, constantly tiptoeing around, repeating words or phrases over, and over, and over again, and not being able to sit up or rollover.

One mother who had her autistic boy in tow said he has made great progress.

"Everyone just functions differently," said Brittany Carter, the mother of an autistic artist. "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind. He's going to be a great member of society."

The best advice for parents is to have good communication with your pediatrician and treat autism early.

Two more events are being held to raise autism awareness. A benefit concert at the House of Rock on Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m., and an Autism Awareness Walk on Saturday, April 20, at Cole Park.

For more information, follow the links below:

Autism Rocks! at the House of Rock

Autism Awareness Walk


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