Many great artists start young; they say Mozart, who some theorize may have been on the spectrum, completed his first symphony at the age of 9. Jonathan Sunarho from Castle Hill is 9 as well, and is already a prolific artist.
Diagnosed as autistic at the age of 3, he used his creativity to communicate even before he spoke; the opening dialogue between him and his parents was a drawing he made of his family together.
“I like to draw musical instruments, people playing instruments, musical keys and notes. I love music very much,” says Jonathan. “I like to draw stick figures dancing moves, like in the Just Dance Xbox game, because I love dancing too.”
Jonathan’s parents, Mary and Jerry, have encouraged his creative gifts, and used Mary’s experience in graphic design and her website, Harvest Collection, as a platform to bring his artwork to a wider audience.
“Despite our challenges, everyone still has a gift or two, or maybe more,” says Mary. “If we grow these gifts, it will help us build our confidence and self-worth. Since I put Jon’s works into the business, Jon sees how people appreciate and value his artworks. He now proudly shows his latest work to me. I think he feels the acceptance of others and it helps him feel good about himself and improves his relationships with others around him.”
In addition to drawing, Jonathan is also branching out into making short films, writing songs, and playing piano and guitar. We look forward to seeing where he goes from here, and we thank him for letting us share his story, because it beautifully encapsulates not only the immense potential of autistic talent, but also the importance of embracing our strengths and passions, and the value of a loving and supportive network.
Max Williams, Editor