RIVERVIEW (FOX 13) - One Bay Area mother has done countless hours of reading and research about autism spectrum disorder. But what she’s learned the most, she’s learned from her own son.
Christopher Riveiro is an 11-year-old boy and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 4. His mother Keely adopted him when he was 2, although she’s had him since days after he was born.
"We had to get feeding therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy. We noticed there were things that weren't right: Flapping of the hands, sounds, stemming, lining up of the cars throughout the house,” Keely told FOX 13 News. “I don't think autism is so much a disability, I think it’s something God has blessed him with, I guess."
The more Keely read and researched, she learned to let him lead the way. Then Christopher discovered a talent that wasn't always a talent.
"One day I came in -- I just let him draw -- and one day I found a flamingo and then one day out of the blue I saw he drew a unicorn and then he was doing his one-stroke drawings. Mostly animals and birds,” Keely continued. “Then he started getting special requests through this Facebook page my friend set up and the response has been unbelievable. I asked, ‘Are you kidding or do you really like these?’ And they're like, ‘How do we purchase them? Can he draw a sailfish?’ So he drew a sailfish for another friend of mine.”
Christopher's drawings and art is even being used by an author, and his picture of a praying mantis will be the cover of a new children's book.
"To me, my son doesn't have a disability. He has an ability! He shows me things most people couldn't show me; most adults couldn't show me. He is the most loving and giving child you have ever seen," Keely added.
LINK: His Facebook page is: Drawings and Paintings by Christopher