One of the more common hurdles for those with autism is the struggle to express their emotions and interests. There are many recreational activities and therapies that can be useful to them that range from art therapy to equine therapy to karate, which can help increase emotional regulation as well as promote positive growth.
Jarrett Sekosky is a 24-year-old man who has autism and is nonverbal. Since a young age, Sekosky has utilized art as an outlet to express himself. When Sekosky was young, his art teachers gave him colored pencils and graphite. However, the strong pressure that he applied while drawing prompted his instructors to swap the pencils and graphite to a paintbrush and acrylic paint. Matt, Sekosky’s father, told Daily Journal, “He liked it, and it calmed him down.”
Sekosky preferred communicating through abstract painting as a means to convey his thoughts and feelings to others. As a nonverbal man, painting has given him a voice as well as an opportunity to display to his teachers and others in the art community how talented he really is! According to Daily Journal, after attending Millikin University for an art therapy program, his professor Annette Russo explained to Sekosky’s family that his abilities extended far beyond just a hobby and should be showcased in a professional gallery.
Janice Miller, director of the Merchant Street Art Gallery in Kankakee, Illinois, discovered Sekosky’s works and has invited him to display his abstract paintings at her art gallery in August. His signature piece entitled “Kaleidoscope” is a beautiful piece he created with only the use of markers. Despite having autism, Sekosky’s artistic abilities have led him to a plethora of opportunities while also allowing him to freely express himself and boost his self-confidence and independence.
For more information on recreational activities and therapies for those with autism, please visit here.