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Young artist with autism mentors students on the spectrum

by Dawn Grosvenor

Justin Canha"I have autism, but my ability is to draw, and drawing can be my real hope in life." – Justin Canha

Young artist Justin Canha recently visited a Lee, Massachusetts art gallery, where he mentored students from Berkshire College during his cartooning workshop. Not only does Justin have autism, but the students participating in the workshop are also on the spectrum.

Even more, the workshop was filmed as part of Don’t Foil My Plans, an in-progress documentary project about “autism, creativity and coming of age.”

At twenty-four, Justin is a success story in the eyes of many, but especially those in the autism community. In 2011, The New York Times dedicated an in-depth piece exclusively to Justin’s journey with autism, his many struggles and accomplishments along the way, and the challenges he faced as he finished school and longed for independence.

Justin CanhaJustin’s independence and career goals of being an animator-illustrator have been at the forefront of his mind for years. From baking and decorating cakes to exhibiting his art and volunteering, Justin has achieved beyond what others expected of him, and it doesn’t look like he plans to slow down any time soon.

You can follow Justin’s artwork by liking his Facebook page and visiting his website. Justin’s artwork is available for purchase at his Etsy store.

If you, a friend or a family member are in search of resources regarding autism and adulthood, look no further than the Future Horizons’ book store! We’ve highlighted a few titles below that we feel are highly useful.

Preparing For Life

Preparing for Life
By Jed Baker
Developing Talents

Developing Talents
By Temple Grandin
and Katie Duffy
Asperger's on the Job

Asperger's on the Job
By Rudy Simone


Images courtesy of The New York Times and Justin Canha's Facebook.