Autistic Five-Year-Old Creates Amazing Paintings

“She has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other”
Iris Grace. Photographed by Arabella Carter-Johnson

Iris Grace painting.

LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND- Autism is typically regarded as a disability. Although in a five-year-old’s case from Leicestershire, England, it has given her the ability to produce extraordinary paintings for someone her age.

Iris Grace Carter-Johnson was diagnosed with Autism in December 2011 and to help with speech therapy, joint attention, and turn taking her parents encouraged her to paint, as stated on Iris Grace Painting.

What her parents did not expect was the quality and skill Iris Grace shows in her paintings. “She has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other,” says Arabella Carter-Johnson, Iris Grace’s mother in an interview with Buzzfeed. Shockingly, Iris Grace still does not speak so her parents are currently naming her artwork.

Iris Grace is able to spend two hours concentrating on one of her pieces, according to her parents. Although, child entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes, according to Children’s Health Network, Autism had lead Iris Grace to be able to concentrate on a single act eight times longer than a typical child.

Her parents have found that Iris Grace’s ability and love of painting has been “a precious key” with which they have been able to connect with their daughter by allowing them into her world through artistic expression, according to Buzzfeed.

Once her parents shared Iris Grace’s story and paintings online her paintings sold to private art collectors in the UK and all over the world. The highest bid currently is one thousand and five hundred pounds, as stated on Iris Grace Painting.

Autistic artists like Iris Grace reveal their unique view they have on the world through their abilities to paint and. Some autistic artists include Donna Williams, Shawn Belanger and Esther Brokaw. Brokaw, an untrained artist, describes herself as a savant, or a person with autism who is exceptionally gifted in a specialized field, as defined on Medicine Net.

“My reasons for going public with my savant diagnosis is to increase awareness of the talent that exists in many on the autistic spectrum,” says

Painted by Esther Brokaw

Painted by Esther Brokaw

Brokaw on Discover Magazine, “and to encourage the world to utilize these talents.”

Connecting and expressing oneself through the arts can be therapeutic while also sparking creativity. Similarly Iris Grace  loves water, trees, wind, books, and nature in general and is able to find something good out of her diagnosis, according to her parents.

This creative and artistic edge has made life easier for both Iris Grace and her parents.

“We still have a long way to go with her social skills and speech, but we are having many more ‘good days,’” say her parents on Iris Grace Painting. .

All profits from the sales of her art go towards art materials and therapy, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, yoga and music therapy.


Clare is the Copy Editor of Zap-Ed-News. She is studying Media and Society and English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is part of the William Smith Class of 2015.