About

Iris Grace Painting garden studio

A few words to describe Iris
delightful, funny, serene, dainty, intelligent, crafty and utterly gorgeous !
Iris loves
nature, water, flowers, trees, wind, books, pictures and dancing on tip toes
From a photograph you wouldn’t think that anything was different just a normal 4 year old but there is, Iris is Autistic.  She is now starting to speak but that doesn’t come easily to her and she has great trouble with interacting with others but expresses herself through movement and art.  Since she was diagnosed in December 2011 we were able to learn about how we could help our daughter.  With the expert help of many therapists she changed dramatically in just a short space of time.  She used to be consumed by books, eye contact was a rare occurrence, she didn’t want to or know how to play with us, showed obsessive behaviours, got desperately distressed when we took her near any other children and her sleep patterns were all over the place.  She now rides on my back in fits of laughter, squealing with delight, plays, communicates by creating her own signs, a few small words and her sleeping is much better.  We still have a long way to go with her social skills and speech, but we are having many more ‘good days’ and one of her favourite activities is Painting.
Iris’s Art
We have been encouraging Iris to paint to help with speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking.  Then we realised that she is actually really talented and has an incredible concentration span of around 2 hours each time she paints.  I make up some cups of very watery paints, she chooses which one she would like to use and gets me to make more when she needs it and she mixes her own colours from mug to mug.  Her autism has created a style of painting which I have never seen in a child of her age, she has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other.  She beams with excitement and joy when I get out the paints, it lifts her mood everytime.  She has found a way of expressing herself that is so beautiful, so we wanted to share it and thereby raise awareness of her condition, which is currently affecting around 100,000 children in the UK and these numbers are rising.
Iris's favourite treestump

37 thoughts on “About

  1. Your daughter’s story sounds very familiar. My daughter is also on the spectrum and we went through some of the same things you mention here. We too have seen great improvements since getting her the assistance she needed. Her love is in music, especially the piano and we are encouraging the interest everyday. It is inspiring to see how Iris is able to express herself through art. I am excited to see her talent develop!

  2. Pingback: ~ Iris ~

  3. What a beautiful child!
    Painting is also good therapy for Altzheimers
    Amazing, she has a great awareness of hue and tone that most children don’t have.

  4. As parents of Iris, you both should be applauded for your consideration, time, effort that you have obviously put in to understanding her world. It is a communication, may it not be verbal, but a means of expression that is foreign to most of us, but natural and integral to Iris, she knows exactly how to paint how she feels, thinks, and for Iris, I imagine a mile stone, bridging the lack of speech. I can hear her voice through her paintings.

    • It´s important when parents support their children. I think it is obligatory. but in case of Iris it is much more complicated besause she could not tell you, what she likes to do, you had to find out by trying and being attentive and patient. Bravo.

  5. thank you for sharing your precious angel’s work of art and story with the world. I am so honored to have read this and know that you as parents have helped her more then you know by offering her the life of expression through painting. I have a 2 year old daughter myself and see alittle bit of her in Iris for some reason :) all children are blessings! take good care all of you!

  6. Pingback: LOOK: 3-Year-Old Painter With Autism Stuns Art World | Political Ration

  7. Pingback: LOOK: 3-Year-Old Painter With Autism Stuns Art World

  8. How beautiful. I have been looking for a painting for a remodle we did last year. I have been putting it off becuase nothing has caught my eye. Please include me on the list of original paintings to purchase.
    hatricktol@att.net

  9. What an amazingly beautiful story. Your daughter has abilities that most adults will never be able to comprehend. I want one of her paintings!

  10. Your story touches my heart. Iris is a beautiful child and she is your biggest gift in life. It’s never easy having a child who has challenges, but every step you take with her is your blessing. May she continue to be a health and happy angel and may you enjoy your journey with her.

  11. Iris could be friends with Julianna, my 3 year old granddaughter, also with autism. They could parallel paint together!

    Iris is very talented for such a young age. Her paintings are beautiful.

  12. What a stunning girl. As a speech therapist I applaud your efforts to find what works best for her. She is perfect in every way, and nobody can take away the light she gives to those around her.

  13. I consider art an “Alternative Academic”. It is fundamental for many people with special needs, including ADHD. As I am one, from childhood to now, a senior. It is well known and documented that learning happens in different ways through the senses. Creative expression and the creative process is fundamental to my health and well being, and for many others. Unfortunately and historically, the arts are the first educational programs always to be dropped nationwide in the U.S.A. Our education is constitutionally protected, in part. Why aren’t the arts constitutionally protected too!! The arts, the “Alternative Academics are never protected in our school systems. Thus discriminating across the board excluding viable citizens the right to learn, by due process, the only way they can. It insures failure. Our brightest and best discoveries have come from the least expected places, nearly 100% from using imagination and the creative process. To deny this education is to insure slavery of another kind. As for Iris Grace…Yahoo!! Out of the mouths of babes…comes the light of the world, in a glimpse.

  14. Pingback: Iris Halmshaw, 3-Year-Old With Autism, Can’t Talk; But Her Beautiful Paintings Sell For Hundreds « Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

  15. I’m not sure what is more beautiful, your child’s work, or the love and acceptance you show as parents. Autism is so hard, but you’ve found her strengths which isnt easy. Best of luck to you all.

  16. wow. I’ve never seen this kind of painting. it is marvelous. the use of colors is only a genius can do it. Her painting is really really makes me calm and happy… wow…

  17. Pingback: The paintings by 3-year-old British girl with autism wows international art … | Today Health Channel

  18. How lovely and positive your story is to those of us who have children with autism. We have lived with a lot of negativity from others towards us and towards our little boy. This story is a ray of sunshine, and so are all of our children.

  19. You all are so fortunate to have such a very, very special little girl. Just imagine what masterpieces she’ll be creating as she grows up and becomes an adult!!

  20. What an amazing story! We offer art classes for children in our community. We believe there are amazing benefits to children being able to express themselves through art. Thank you for sharing Iris’s story. Do you mind if I share her picture and story on our facebook page?

  21. Pingback: 3-Year-Old Iris Grace's Breathtaking Impressionist Paintings - things worth describing

  22. The mysterious ways of Lord may face us with this kind of milracolous beings, every now and then. I actually know nothing about Autism. But having met some Autistic kids, I like to think of them as such sensitive, lovely and connected with the divine spark ones, that they find it trully hard to interac with the world in these times we happen to live in. Keep on making Iris happy by loving her unconditionally and she will keep on amazing us all by that. Blessings and of course, congrats for that awesome kid of yours!

  23. I am an Interior Design student, graduating this year. I am designing a school for autistic children, and Iris is my inspiration! Her art will inspire the whole design of this facility! She’s is a an amazing little genius!

    • Hi Andressa,
      That’s so wonderful, we would love to see the designs once they are finished, we are delighted that Iris’s art can provide you with inspiration, best of luck with it all, Iris and family x

  24. I have had the pleasure of being involved with Autistic children in a music program, and the results were fantastic, they are the most talented little beings, and are to be admired.

  25. I stumbled across your website while searching for a painting class for my 3 year old daughter, who loves to paint. Your daughters pictures gave me chills! What a very special daughter you have, and how fortunate she is to have found such passion, love, and serenity at her early age. I hope one day to purchase a print. Thank you so much for sharing, and I hope and pray your daughter’s therapy continues to help!

  26. Absolutely stunning art! Like Monet is guiding her hands. Your efforts to provide your beautiful daughter with tools for communicating and interacting with the world around her are to be commended.
    Has she ever had an opportunity to to therapeutic horseback riding? The program I used to help run had many miraculous stories of young children speaking and/or walking for the first time. It taught out autistic spectrum students how to interact with their horse, volunteers and fellow students.
    Looking forward to seeing more beautiful art from Iris.

    • Thankyou Sarah for your kind words, we have tried Equine Therapy but a couple of years ago now, we have booked in a few sessions this summer to see if Iris shows anymore interest as she didn’t seem to be that keen when we first tried. I have seen though, how amazing animals can be at encouraging communication with her Maine Coon Kitten, their relationship is beautiful to watch.

  27. Iris Grace is an amazing child. Your patience, understanding and love have helped her bloom. I have only met one person with Autism. He was the 23 year old son of a co-worker. Your daughter has given me a totally different view of Autism. To say I was ignorant is an understatement. Thank you for sharing your journey with Iris Grace. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose eyes and heart have been opened. <3

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