NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An artist diagnosed with autism has been showcasing the more colorful side of life to people unfamiliar with the disorder.
Grace Goad, age 22, was diagnosed with moderately severe autism, intellectual disabilities, and severe speech and language disorder when she was two years old.
Her mother, Leisa Hammett, said her talent for the arts clearly stood out, and they started meeting with art mentors and art therapists.
"Art is her expression. Art can show what she is capable of doing," Hammett told NewsChannel 5.
Goad has been working with the organization ArtLifting, which empowers artists facing homelessness and disability through the sale and celebration of their artwork.
Her pieces have been featured across the country and in several television segments.
"I'm always struck by her sense of color, very vibrant and a pretty unusual use of color," Hammett added.
Hammett has encouraged parents of children with autism to find out what their gifts and talents are. She has hoped through Goad's artwork, people can learn the potential and possibilities found within those with disabilities.
"Sometimes it is the art that brings the person who appreciates it to the world of people with disabilities," Hammett said.
April is Autism Awareness Month. It's a disorder that affects 1 in 68 children.
Goad's artwork will be showcased at the Franklin Art Scene on April 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.