Autistic students excel through art program

BROOKFIELD, Wis. – A program nearly 10 years in the making and serving hundreds of students across the state of Wisconsin is enjoying success in the classroom.

islands of brilliance is a program that helps students with autism grow with art.

It’s a program that creates an environment for people living with autism to learn better instead of forcing students to conform to a normal classroom.

Jalen Green has worked with Islands of Brilliance for two years.

He has a passion for art, and through his drawings you can tell he loves cars.

With the help of this program, he is able to advance his artistic skills by integrating technology and bringing his art to life digitally.

Every week, he jumps online to meet other students with autism just like him. They are able to navigate art classes with the help of a mentor.

“It was very cool to hang out with other people like me who have the same type of quirk. Well, they’re autistic like me and do the same kind of cool stuff,” student Jalen Green said. .

Green and his mentor work together to learn new skills to complete a project, allowing him to take his art digitally while learning new skills that count for school credit.

For Islands of Brilliance co-founder Margaret Fairbanks, it’s amazing to see students thrive through their programming.

“For someone who has incredible gifts and might not choose to show it or want to show it in a rigid environment but in a free-form environment, what they can do will be amazing,” Fairbanks said.

Over the past two years, Green has grown as a student and it’s something his mother is proud to see.

“Having this sparked a whole new light in my child. He makes me proud every day,” Jalen’s mother Cadence Jackson said. “He’s a wonderful person and to see him use his skills and feel able and eager to plan his future and build friendships and community. That’s exactly what you want as a parent.

It’s a program that gave Green a big smile while learning and acquiring new skills and it’s something he always looks forward to.

Kayleen C. Rice