Autism and Decorating

Eighteen years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who happened to have multiple disabilities. When he was born, I was told he was profoundly deaf. At the age of three (he still couldn’t walk) he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. We suspected he was Autistic for quite a few years before he was formally diagnosed at the age of 8.
When he was young, decorating was the same as it would be for any little boy. As he grew, it became a much greater challenge. Especially during puberty!
If there was anything with mesh he would obsess over it (or eat it). If it had wheels, he would spin them all night (or break it up…and eat it). If it was wooden he would either climb on it or break it apart (or eat it…I’m not kidding! He once ate 30 wooden beads from an abacus that he broke up!).
I wanted him to be able to have a cozy little room, but was limited in what I could put in there. Plus, all of his toys have to be locked in a closet at night for safety concerns and his sleep issues (he was staying up all night every night obsessing over toys). So, he spent the next few years with very plain walls and an empty-looking room (except when he pulls the entire contents of his closet out onto the floor).
I’d tried all sorts of ideas out, but never considered painting a mural since I wasn’t blessed (like the rest of my family) with a whole lot of artistic talent. One day, after drawing the same little bird on his hand (he loves birds) that I’ve been drawing for him since he was a baby, I thought, “Why don’t I put that on his walls?”
I got out my craft paints and paint brushes and went to town. 
These are his walls now (sorry, didn’t think to take a “before” picture…so just imagine emptiness). I’m not such a great artist but, he was very happy with his new birds and that’s what matters the most to me! :o)
Big tree in the corner with birds, butterflies and dragonflies.

Scene with a bird trying to fly.
One giant bird.

Linking to these fun parties:

The Girl Creative

7 thoughts on “Autism and Decorating

  1. i am sure he loves it! i teach special ed preschool with children with autism. i know it is a tough full time job being a mother to a special needs child. many blessings to you!

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