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Man With Autism Finds Happiness And Comfort In Art

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MARLTON, N.J. -

Finding the right outlet for creativity and control is not always easy for people with Autism. But, as FOX 29's Joyce Evans shows us, when they find it the results can be simply beautiful.

Jonathan Wynn, 31, was diagnosed with Autism at a very young age and has used painting as a way to stay calm and comfortable on both his "good" and "bad" days.

At the Occupational Training Center, a Marlton, N.J.-based adult center, Wynn experienced regular, angry outbursts that made it difficult for him to assimilate to the center. They then consulted Wynn's mother for advice.

She suggested they try something he used to do when he was a child.

"She told us some of the things she used to do when he was younger and I said maybe that will calm him down here," said program supervisor, Joyce Hunter.

So, they set Wynn up with his own space, a private studio.

Wynn's stunning art gained a lot of positive attention at the program, said Hunter. "I said, 'Wow, I can not believe this man is painting something like this and he is here in our program.'"

At the age of 6, Bob Ross' TV show "The Art Of Painting" caught Wynn's attention. He was awe-struck and inspired by the images he saw on the show.

Wynn's parents knew their only child had received a lot of attention and praise in younger years for his Ross-influenced artwork.

Now, painting has made him a much different person around the OTC. Staff say Wynn used to punch holes in walls. Now, they're decorated with his artwork.

The OTC staff sponsored a "Meet the Artist" reception for the Wynn collection on display at the county library in Mount Holly, and many pieces sold before the exhibit even opened.

Wynn's mother said it's "astonishing to me because he was able to sit there and just take it all in and he knew that he was loved."

For more information, please contact Program Supervisor Joyce Hunter at 856-596-4040 or send an email to jhunter@otcbc.org.

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