When asked what motivated her to do this project, Dria said, “My 13 year old brother, who currently is a student at Oak Hill, was diagnosed with autism 10 years ago. Although he has a hard time communicating with others, he is very passionate about art and his art allows us to see his perspective on the world and the people around him.”
Continued from September Newsletter
My project, Thoughts in Pictures, is a program I created to show the artistic capabilities of kids with autism, which I am very thankful to be able to start at Oak Hill School! My brother, James Lee, has been a student at Oak Hill for almost three years, and has always had a strong passion for drawing and painting. His love for art inspired me to create TIPS, and Oak Hill was a wonderful and welcoming environment to start it in.
I came to Oak Hill School with very little experience working with autistic kids besides my brother, but when I got there, they were all so energetic and easy going to work with. I connected with them on the first day, and because of the small school size, I got one on one time with each of them, and got to know everyone very well.
During the week I was there, I assisted Sophie and her program Youth in Arts, in making paper mache masks with the students. At the same time, I designed a mural for the school, and took each student one by one to help paint it in. Some chose to paint in the lines, but many let their imaginations run wild by creating their own image of Oak Hill on the canvas. Although many people with autism cannot verbally communicate with the world, art gives them a way to show people what the world looks like through their eyes. In the mural, one can see what Oak Hill looks like through their eyes. I hope that the mural stays up for a long time, and even when the kids leave the school, they continue doing art as a passion