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By Jeff Mays on May 18th 2010 2:58PM

Before he started creating artwork at school, Amoako Buachie, 18, a Brooklyn, N.Y., student with autism, was prone to violent night fits and screams that prompted neighbors to call the police.

And then Buachie’s mother, Akosua Mainu, 46, a Ghanaian immigrant, enrolled him in a smaller five-person class that focused on artwork.

The fits and screams came to a halt.

“Before, he was fighting me in the morning, and he wouldn’t go to sleep at night,” Mainu told the New York Daily News. “He’s doing great now. …I see so much improvement… it is not as before.”

Not only that, Buachie, a student in the 12th grade, has turned out to be a talented artist. His work, along with 74 other K-12 students, will hang in the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art next month as part of the Department of Education’s P.S. Art program.”When I do my artwork, I feel very excited inside, when I use bright colors to express myself,” Buachie wrote in a note attached to his watercolor portrait, titled “My Friend Andre.” “I love to draw and paint.”

Buachie’s painting depicts his friend with wide eyes and has an almost cubist feel. The artwork came about as part of an assignment from art teacher Audrey Lacy, who designed the exercise to help her students maintain eye contact. Lacy sat the students, who also have autism, across from one another and instructed them to paint the portrait.

“Amoako made really good, sustained eye contact, and based on the way he was looking at [Andre], he made a very accurate portrait of him,” said Lacy, 25.

Lacy was so impressed with the accuracy and quality of the painting that she submitted it for consideration. His portrait was chosen from among 800 entries.

“He’s so creative and very talented,” said Lacy. “Art is his outlet, and he’s very proud of himself.”

Buachie can stay in this school until he’s 21, so he will likely participate in art for the next few years.

It’s great to see a mother fight to make her son the best he can be. When Buachie was acting out, Mainu sought alternative solutions. In the process, her son found what may turn out to be a lifelong passion.

“It’s the greatest feeling,” said Mainu.

Source:  http://www.bvblackspin.com/2010/05/18/student-with-autism-artwork-metropolitan-museum/



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