Autism is a condition that deeply affects the lives of many children and often makes engaging in social interactions extremely difficult.
But, sometimes a little bit of hope, a paintbrush and a new BFF can make a world of difference.
Case in point: Iris Grace and her furry friend, Thula.
Iris Grace was struggling with the symptoms of autism when a little cat named Thula came into her life.
Iris Grace and Thula became instantly inseparable, and this newfound friendship helped Iris Grace discover her voice, as well as a serious artistic talent.
With the help of her feline friend, Iris Grace created all sorts of stunning paintings that have been purchased by various art collectors and even celebs like Angelina Jolie.
Iris Grace’s family decided to create a book that tells the inspiring story of this unlikely friendship, with the hope it will be able to help others dealing with autism.
In a post, Iris Grace’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, wrote,
I wanted to raise awareness of autism, to show people that there can be a future, a bright one. The techniques that work for Iris may not work with every child but I do believe there is always a key – it is about following the lead of your child.
Take a look at the pictures below to see this heartwarming story.
Iris Grace is a 6-year-old girl with autism who was struggling to speak, read and interact with others…
…until she found her furry BFF, a cat named Thula.
With Thula’s help, Iris Grace was able to discover her voice as well as her incredible gift to create all sorts of amazing artwork.
Iris Grace’s mother told BoredPanda, “Thula has lowered [Iris'] daily anxieties in life and keeps Iris calm, but equally has the effect of encouraging her to be more social.”
Iris wanted to know how the harness was fitted so I showed her before our outing in the car today. She inspected it so carefully before we left and Thula waited patiently – such a brilliant little kitten.
Posted by Iris Grace Painting on Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Now, Iris Grace and Thula are practically inseparable, and together these two are, as her mom said, showing the world “different is brilliant.”
With the help of her purrrfect little art assistant, Iris Grace created a variety of magnificent paintings…
Such as her eye-catching “Over in the Ocean” piece…
Over in the Oceanhttp://www.irisgracepaintingshop.com/products/over-in-the-ocean-giclee-printPainted onto Yupo Paper with Acrylics (part of Iris’s ‘Under the Sea’ themed project for her Home Education)
Posted by Iris Grace Painting on Monday, January 18, 2016
Her “Sea Elf” painting…
Sea Elfhttp://www.irisgracepaintingshop.com/products/sea-elf-giclee-printPainted onto Yupo Paper with Acrylics (part of Iris’s ‘Under the Sea’ themed project for her Home Education)
Posted by Iris Grace Painting on Tuesday, January 19, 2016
…and this stunning work of art, “Dancing in Snowflakes.”
The proud mom said, “Her exceptional focus and attention to details have helped her create incredibly beautiful paintings.”
In fact, Iris Grace’s paintings are so good, even Angelina Jolie purchased one of them.
Her mom continued, “Autism has opened up my perceptions of how you can teach a child. It doesn't have to be in a classroom it can be wherever the child is most comfortable, using their own interests to inspire them.”
So, together with the help of a photographer and illustrator, Iris Grace’s family created a book that shares the incredible story of a girl and her cat.
Still at no. 2 on the Amazon New Releases Bestseller listings, so exciting !For those abroad who would like to buy the hardcover you can buy it with free postage through this link – http://bit.ly/BuyIrisGrace
Posted by Iris Grace Painting on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
This dynamic duo certainly is an inspiration to all.