July 12, 2016

I painted with an Autistic child today

Autism Ribbon I have worked with hundreds of children since I started teaching, but today was my first day teaching a child with Autism to paint with me at The Sugar Land Art Center.

Today was a special day for me, Art is my world and I love teaching children of all ages. Today, however, I was nervous, as this was my first time painting with an Autistic child. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Would she let me hold her hand? Would she only paint certain images or pictures? I wasn’t sure, but I was looking forward to meeting her all day.

She arrives at the gallery and I introduce myself to her. She didn’t make eye contact or answer when I asked her name, but I could see the creativity stirring inside her. She was ready and eager to paint.


She sits at the table with the canvas and paint palette in front of her. Next to the canvas is a small picture of three spotted dogs on a blue background. There are six different squares drawn on the canvas, ready to be transformed into three dogs. I tell her to use the blue paint to trace the outside of the squares.

I watched anxiously as she gently dips the brush into the blue paint, then touched the bristles against the canvas. She started to shuffle the paint around the lines, so I gently wrapped my hand around hers and said’ “I want you to trace the lines like this”. She did it, she followed my directions exactly!

 Painting with an Autistic Child

She would look at the paper, then paint the canvas just as she saw it. Dipping the brush into the appropriate colors and painting just as it appeared on the paper, washing and drying the brush between color changes. 

She did such an amazing job!

Her Dad would peep in from time to time to check on her. He told me that she would redraw this picture for the next several days. So, after she completed her painting, I handed her a piece of paper and a pen. He was right, she re-drew the painting on the paper.

 Drawing three dogs

Jaime Hinrichs